TODAY IN HISTORY
TODAY IS FRIDAY, SEPT. 3, the 246th day of 2021. There are 119 days left in the year.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT IN HISTORY: On this date in 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio address, Britain’s King George VI said, “With God’s help, we shall prevail.” The same day, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner SS Athenia some 250 miles off the Irish coast, killing more than 100 of the 1,400 or so people on board.
In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson and his crew aboard the Half Moon entered present-day New York Harbor and began sailing up the river that now bears his name. (They reached presentday Albany before turning back.)
In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.
In 1943, Allied forces invaded Italy during World War II, the same day Italian officials signed a secret armistice with the Allies.
In 1976, America’s Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the red planet’s surface.
In 1978, Pope John Paul I was installed as the 264th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1995, the online auction site eBay was founded in San Jose, California, by Pierre Omidyar under the name “AuctionWeb.”
In 1999, a French judge closed a twoyear inquiry into the car crash that killed Princess Diana, dismissing all charges against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist, and concluding the accident was caused by an inebriated driver. In 2003, Paul Hill, a former minister who said he murdered an abortion doctor and his escort to save the lives of unborn babies, was executed in Florida by injection, becoming the first person put to death in the United States for antiabortion violence.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered more than 7,000 active duty forces to the Gulf Coast as his administration intensified efforts to rescue Katrina survivors and send aid to the hurricane-ravaged region in the face of criticism it did not act quickly enough.
In 2009, a private funeral service was held in Glendale, California, for pop superstar Michael Jackson, whose body was entombed in a mausoleum more than two months after his death.
In 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates toured U.S. bases and war zones in Afghanistan, saying he saw and heard evidence that the American counterinsurgency strategy was taking hold in critical Kandahar province.
In 2019, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles, and the store chain requested that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores; the announcement followed a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso that left 22 people dead. TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Actor Pauline Collins is 81. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 79. Actor Valerie Perrine is 78. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 73. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 66. Actor Steve Schirripa is 64. Actor Holt McCallany is 57. Rock singer-musician Todd Lewis, and actors Costas Mandylor and Charlie Sheen are 56. Singer Jennifer Paige is 48. Dance-rock musician Redfoo is 46. Actor Ashley Jones is 45. Actors Nichole Hiltz, Joel Johnstone and Nick Wechsler are 43. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 42. Bluegrass musician Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range) and actor Christine Woods are 38. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 37. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White is 35. Hiphop singer August Alsina is 29.