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Today in History: Pope Benedict XVI began a controversial state visit to Britain

Today in History: Pope Benedict XVI began a controversial state visit to Britain

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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 16, the 260th day of 2020. There are 106 days left in the year.

Highlights in History:

On Sept. 16, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

On this date:

In 1630, the Massachusetts village of Shawmut changed its name to Boston.

In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera officially opened its new opera house at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra.”

In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.

In 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was “no question” Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks; Bush pledged the government would “find them, get them running and hunt them down.”

In 2005, President George W. Bush ruled out raising taxes to pay the massive costs of Gulf Coast reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, saying other government spending had to be cut to pay for the recovery effort.

In 2007, contractors for the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA guarding a U.S. State Department convoy in Baghdad opened fire on civilian vehicles, mistakenly believing they were under attack; 14 Iraqis died. O.J. Simpson was arrested in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in Las Vegas. (Simpson was later convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison; he was released in 2017.)

In 2009, Mary Travers, 72, part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died in Danbury, Connecticut.

In 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former U.S. Navy reservist, went on a shooting rampage inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people before being shot dead by police.

In 2014, President Barack Obama declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world and ordered 3,000 U.S. troops to the region in emergency aid muscle.

Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI began a controversial state visit to Britain, acknowledging the Catholic Church had failed to act decisively or quickly enough to deal with priests who raped and molested children.

Five years ago: Eleven Republican presidential candidates debated at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, wrangling over immigration, gay marriage and foreign affairs. 

One year ago: More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike against General Motors, bringing more than 50 factories and parts warehouses to a standstill. (The strike ended after 40 days when workers ratified a new contract.) 

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 70. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 69. Actor Mickey Rourke is 68. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 67. Actor Kurt Fuller is 67. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 67. Actor Christopher Rich is 67. 

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