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This day in history

Wednesday, Sept. 25, is the 268th day of 2013. There are 97 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 84. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 70. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 69. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 66. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 64. Actor-director Anson Williams is 64. Actor Mark Hamill is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is 62. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 62. Actor Michael Madsen is 55. Actress Heather Locklear is 52. Actress Aida Turturro is 51. Actor Tate Donovan is 50. Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is 48. Actor Will Smith is 45. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 44. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 42. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 40. Actress Clea DuVall is 36. Rapper T. I. is 33.

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In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.

In 1690, one of the earliest American newspapers, Publick Occurrences, published its first — and last — edition in Boston.

In 1775, Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal. Allen was released in 1778.

In 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.

In 1911, ground was broken for Fenway Park.

In 1919, President Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1932, the Spanish region of Catalonia received a Charter of Autonomy. However, the charter was revoked by Francisco Franco at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

In 1957, nine black students who’d been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

In 1962, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in Round 1 to win the world heavyweight title at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

In 1992, the Mars Observer blasted off on a $980 million mission to the Red Planet. The probe disappeared in August 1993.

In 2003, France reported a death toll of 14,802 from the summer heat wave. Author, journalist, and editor George Plimpton died in New York at age 76. Nobel-winning economist Franco Modigliani died in Cambridge at age 85.

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