This Day in History – September 20th

Jim Croce with Maury Muehleisen

Today is Thursday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2018. There are 102 days left in the year and 96 days until Christmas.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 20th, 1973, singer Jim Croce (CROH’-chee) and five others were killed when their plane crashed after takeoff near Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce was on his way to a concert in Texas. He was 30.

On this date:

In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)

In 1870, Italian troops took control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.

In 1884, the National Equal Rights Party was formed during a convention of suffragists in San Francisco; the convention nominated Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood for president.

In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when he was stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent; she died at a Queens, New York, nursing home in 2015 at age 98.)

In 1963, President Kennedy proposed a joint U-S-Soviet expedition to the moon.

In 1973, in their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.

In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing at least 14 people, including two Americans and 12 Lebanese.

In 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced a new Cabinet-level office to fortify homeland security and named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge its director.

Thought for Today: “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” — George Washington Carver, American botanist (1864-1943).