Today in History: September 14

British Conservative Party Leader Margaret Thatcher listens and answers reporters questions during a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1977 at the Great Britain Embassy in Washington. Mrs. Thatcher is here on a three-day visit meeting with President Carter and other high administration officials. (AP Photo/Peter Bregg)
British Conservative Party Leader Margaret Thatcher listens and answers reporters questions during a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1977 at the Great Britain Embassy in Washington. Mrs. Thatcher is here on a three-day visit meeting with President Carter and other high administration officials. (AP Photo/Peter Bregg)

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, the 258th day of 2016. There are 108 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British bombardment during the War of 1812; the poem later became the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

On this date:

In 1715, Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon, credited with advances in the production of champagne, died in Hautvillers, France, at age 76.

In 1829, the Treaty of Adrianople was signed, ending war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

In 1861, the first naval engagement of the Civil War took place as the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida.

In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.

In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice, France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.

In 1941, Vermont passed a resolution enabling its servicemen to receive wartime bonuses by declaring the U.S. to be in a state of armed conflict, giving rise to headlines that Vermont had “declared war on Germany.”

In 1954, the Soviet Union detonated a 40-kiloton atomic test weapon.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI opened the third session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, also known as “Vatican II.” (The session closed two months later.)

In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.

In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon’s president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was killed by a bomb.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, appeared together on radio and television to appeal for a “national crusade” against drug abuse.

In 1991, the government of South Africa, the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party signed a national peace pact.

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