Today in History

Today is Saturday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2018. There are 121 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 1, 1945, Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)

On this date:

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)

In 1894, the Great Hinckley Fire destroyed Hinckley, Minn., and five other communities, and killed more than 400 people.

In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.

In 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

In 1942, U.S. District Court Judge Martin I. Welsh, ruling from Sacramento, Calif., on a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Fred Korematsu, upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.

In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.

In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.

In 1972, American Bobby Fischer won the international chess crown in Reykjavik (RAY’-kyuh-vik), Iceland, as Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union resigned before the resumption of Game 21. An arson fire at the Blue Bird Cafe in Montreal, Canada, claimed 37 lives.

In 1981, Albert Speer, a close associate of Adolf Hitler who ran the Nazi war machine, died at a London hospital at age 76.

In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.

In 1985, a U.S.-French expedition located the wreckage of the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean roughly 400 miles off Newfoundland.

In 2004, more than 1,000 people were taken hostage by heavily armed Chechen militants at a school in Beslan in southern Russia; more than 330 people, more than half of them children, were killed in the three-day ordeal.

Ten years ago: Hurricane Gustav slammed into the heart of Louisiana’s fishing and oil industry with 110 mph winds, delivering only a glancing blow to New Orleans. Republicans opened their national convention in St. Paul, Minn., on a subdued note because of Hurricane Gustav; John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, revealed that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant. Jerry Lewis raised a record $65 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in his annual Labor Day telethon. Country singer-actor Jerry Reed died in Nashville at age 71. Voiceover artist Don LaFontaine, whose distinctive baritone graced innumerable movie trailers, died in Los Angeles at age 68.

Five years ago: Syria derided President Barack Obama’s decision to hold off on punitive military strikes, while the Obama administration countered that its case for military action against the regime of President Bashar Assad was getting stronger, saying it had evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in a deadly August attack. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left a hospital after nearly three months of treatment. Former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison, 44, died at a Nebraska hospital.

One year ago: A line of cars stretched more than a mile at a water distribution center set up on a high school football field in Beaumont, Texas, which had been left without drinking water by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. The mayor of Houston announced that ongoing releases of water from two swollen reservoirs could keep thousands of homes flooded for up to 15 days. Two trailers of highly unstable compounds blew up at a flooded Houston-area chemical plant; it was the second fire in two days at the plant. (The area around the plant had been evacuated because of the risk.) Comedian Shelley Berman died at his California home at the age of 92.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Maharis is 90. Conductor Seiji Ozawa (SAY’-jee oh-ZAH’-wah) is 83. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is 80. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 79. Actor Don Stroud is 75. Conductor Leonard Slatkin is 74. Singer Archie Bell is 74. Singer Barry Gibb is 72. Rock musician Greg Errico is 70. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 68. Singer Gloria Estefan is 61. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 57. Jazz musician Boney James is 57. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 55. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 54. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 52. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 48. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 47. Actor Maury Sterling is 47. Rock singer JD Fortune is 45. Actor Scott Speedman is 43. Country singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 42. Actor Boyd Holbrook is 37. Actress Zoe Lister-Jones is 36. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 34. Actress Aisling (ASH’-ling) Loftus is 28.