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Today in History - Friday Edition

Today is Friday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2015. There are 111 days left in the year.

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    Today's Highlight in History:

    On Sept. 11, 2001, America faced an unprecedented day of terror as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners, sending two of the planes smashing into New York's World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania, resulting in nearly 3,000 deaths.

    On this date: 

    In 1714, the forces of King Philip V of Spain overcame Catalan defenders to end the 13-month-long Siege of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.

    In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

    In 1814, an American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.

    In 1857, the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place in present-day southern Utah as a 120-member Arkansas immigrant party was slaughtered by Mormon militiamen aided by Paiute Indians.

    In 1936, Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam's first hydroelectric generator.

    In 1941, groundbreaking took place for the Pentagon. In a speech that drew accusations of anti-Semitism, Charles A. Lindbergh told an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, that "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" were pushing the United States toward war.

    In 1954, the Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss California, Lee Meriwether, was crowned the winner.

    In 1962, The Beatles completed their first single for EMI, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," at EMI studios in London.

    In 1974, Eastern Airlines Flight 212, a DC-9, crashed while attempting to land in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 72 of the 82 people on board. The family drama "Little House on the Prairie" premiered on NBC-TV.

    In 1984, country star Barbara Mandrell was seriously injured in an automobile accident near Nashville, Tennessee, that claimed the life of the other driver, Mark White.

    In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds cracked career hit number 4,192 off Eric Show of the San Diego Padres, eclipsing the record held by Ty Cobb.

    In 1997, Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.

    Ten years ago: Weeping relatives marked the fourth anniversary of 9/11 with prayers, solemn remembrances and heartfelt messages at the site where the World Trade Center collapsed. Japanese voters handed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's ruling coalition a landslide victory in elections for the lower house of parliament. Roger Federer blew away Andre Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 to capture a second straight U.S. Open and sixth Grand Slam title. Sportscaster Chris Schenkel died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at age 82.

    Five years ago: Speaking at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama appealed to the nation to honor the memory of the Sept. 11 victims by hewing to the values of diversity and tolerance. In New York, a morning ceremony of remembrance gave way to an afternoon of protests and counter-protests over a proposed Islamic center near ground zero. A gunman in rural eastern Kentucky killed five people before turning the shotgun on himself. Kim Clijsters won a second consecutive U.S. Open championship and third overall, easily beating Vera Zvonareva (zvahn-uh-RAY'-vuh) 6-2, 6-1. Actor Kevin McCarthy, 96, died in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

    One year ago: In a joint statement, 10 Arab states promised to "do their share" to fight Islamic State militants, but NATO member Turkey refused to join in. South Korean teen Hyo-Joo Kim made history with the lowest round in a major tournament, a faultless 10-under 61 to open the Evian Championship.

    Today's Birthdays: Actress Betsy Drake is 92. Former Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, is 91. Actor Earl Holliman is 87. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 76. Movie director Brian De Palma is 75. Singer-actress-dancer Lola Falana is 73. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 72. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 70. Actor Phillip Alford is 67. Actress Amy Madigan is 65. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 62. Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 62. Actor Reed Birney is 61. Singer-songwriter Diane Warren is 59. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is 58. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 58. Actor Scott Patterson is 57. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 57. Actress Roxann Dawson is 57. Actor John Hawkes is 56. Actress Anne Ramsay is 55. Actress Virginia Madsen is 54. Actress Kristy McNichol is 53. Musician-composer Moby is 50. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is 50. Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 48. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 48. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 47. Actress Taraji P. Henson is 45. Actress Laura Wright is 45. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff (Lit) is 44. Blogger Markos Moulitsas is 44. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 40. Rapper Mr. Black is 38. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 38. Rapper Ludacris is 38. Rock singer Ben Lee is 37. Actor Ryan Slattery is 37. Actress Ariana Richards is 36. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 28. Actor Tyler Hoechlin is 28. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 34. Actress Mackenzie Aladjem is 14.

    Thought for Today: "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist (1803-1882).