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Today in History

Today is Sunday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of 2013. There are 114 days left in the year.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Sid Caesar is 91. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 73. Actor Alan Feinstein is 72. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 71. Author Ann Beattie is 66. Cajun singer Zachary Richard is 63. Musician Will Lee (“Late Show with David Letterman”) is 61. Actress Heather Thomas is 56. Singer Aimee Mann is 53. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 53. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 49. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech is 48. Alternative country singer Neko Case is 43. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 42. Actor Martin Freeman is 42. Actor David Arquette is 42. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 38. Actor Larenz Tate is 38. Actor Nathan Corddry is 36. Pop singer Pink is 34. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 32.

In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Fla.

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In 1761, Britain’s King George III married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz just a few hours after meeting her for the first time.

In 1892, an early version of ‘‘The Pledge of Allegiance,’’ written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in ‘‘The Youth ’s Companion.’’

In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.

In 1921, Margaret Gorman, 16, of Washington, D.C., was crowned the first ‘‘Miss America’’ in Atlantic City, N.J.

In 1935, Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana was shot and mortally wounded inside the Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long’s bodyguards.)

In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.

In 1943, during World War II, General Dwight E. Eisenhower announced Italy’s surrender; Nazi Germany denounced Italy’s decision as a cowardly act.

In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.

In 1988, two nuclear missile rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas; they were the first US weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.

In 1994, a USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.

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