Today’s Highlight in History
On Sept. 3, 1783: Representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.
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In 1861: During the Civil War, Confederate forces invaded the border state of Kentucky, which had declared its neutrality in the conflict.
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 out of the 1,400 or so people on board.
In 1943: Allied forces invaded Italy during World War II, the same day Italian officials signed a secret armistice with the Allies.
In 1970: Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, 57, died in Washington, D.C.
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 1999, a French judge closed a two-year 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 anti-abortion 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 2012, Sun Myung Moon, 92, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, died in Gapeyeong, South Korea.
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 Texas that left 22 people dead.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama consoled victims of Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast and stoked the enthusiasm of union voters in the industrial heartland, blending a hard political sell with a softer show of sympathy on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. Prolific character actor Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: North Korea carried out its sixth and strongest nuclear test, detonating what it said was a hydrogen bomb. Walter Becker, co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, died at the age of 67.
One year ago: Police went door to door in search of more victims from the catastrophic flooding across the Northeast from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which left nearly 50 people dead in the region. Sheriff’s deputies warned residents returning to communities outside New Orleans to come equipped like survivalists because of the lack of basic services in the aftermath of the hurricane, which knocked out electricity to more than 1 million customers in Louisiana. An Arizona man, Jacob Chansley, who wore face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns when he joined the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty to a felony charge. (Chansley would be sentenced to 41 months in prison.) Authorities said improved weather conditions had slowed the growth of a huge California wildfire near Lake Tahoe resort communities.