Today In History: September 26, First Presidential Debate

Today in History

Today is Monday, Sept. 26, the 269th day of 2022. There are 96 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 26, 1960, the first-ever debate between presidential nominees took place as Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon faced off before a national TV audience from Chicago.

On this date:

In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.

In 1888, poet T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1954, the Japanese commercial ferry Toya Maru sank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait, claiming more than 1,150 lives.

In 1986, William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member.

In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America announced it had created a new rating, NC-17, to replace the X rating.

In 1991, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Arizona, called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on this date in 1993.)

In 1996, President Clinton signed a bill ensuring two-day hospital stays for new mothers and their babies.

In 2003, President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO’-tihn) opened a two-day summit at Camp David.

In 2005, Army Pfc. Lynndie England was convicted by a military jury in Fort Hood, Texas, on six of seven counts stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. (England was sentenced to three years in prison; she ended up serving half that time.)

In 2008, Hollywood screen legend and philanthropist Paul Newman died in Westport, Connecticut, at age 83.

In 2016, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton participated in their first debate of the presidential campaign at Hofstra University in New York; Clinton emphatically denounced Trump for keeping his personal tax returns and business dealings secret from voters while Trump repeatedly cast Clinton as a “typical politician.”

In 2020, President Donald Trump nominated judge Amy Coney Barrett, a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, to the Supreme Court, to fill the seat left vacant by the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Barrett would be confirmed the following month, days before the November election.) More than 150 people gathered in the Rose Garden for Trump’s introduction of Barrett; few in the crowd wore masks to protect against the coronavirus, and in the days that followed, a succession of attendees reported that they had contracted COVID-19.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney both campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio. Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi, making his debut on the global stage at the United Nations, said he would not rest until the civil war in Syria was brought to an end.

Five years ago: Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee announced that he would not seek reelection. Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore won the state’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, defeating incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who’d been backed by President Donald Trump. (Moore would lose the December special election to Democrat Doug Jones.) Amid criticism that the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was insufficient, the administration said it was sending a flotilla of ships and thousands more military personnel to the island to address the growing humanitarian crisis there. Saudi Arabia announced that women would be allowed to drive there for the first time, starting in the summer of 2018.

One year ago: The Rolling Stones launched their pandemic-delayed “No Filter” tour in St. Louis without their drummer of nearly six decades, Charlie Watts, who had died in August at age 80. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards as Broadway looked back to honor shows that were shuttered by COVID-19; “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez was named the best new play. George Frayne, whose band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen enjoyed a cult following in the 1970s with songs including “Hot Rod Lincoln,” died at 77.

Today’s Birthdays: Former baseball All-Star Bobby Shantz is 97. Country singer David Frizzell is 81. Actor Kent McCord is 80. Television host Anne Robinson is 78. Singer Bryan Ferry is 77. Actor Mary Beth Hurt is 76. Actor James Keane is 70. Rock singer-musician Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) is 68. Country singer Carlene Carter is 67. Actor Linda Hamilton is 66. R&B singer Cindy Herron (En Vogue) is 61. Actor Melissa Sue Anderson is 60. Actor Patrick Bristow is 60. Rock musician Al Pitrelli is 60. Singer Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl) is 60. TV personality Jillian Barberie is 56. Contemporary Christian guitarist Jody Davis (Newsboys) is 55. Actor Jim Caviezel (kuh-VEE’-zuhl) is 54. Actor Tricia O’Kelley is 54. Actor Ben Shenkman is 54. Actor Melanie Paxson is 50. Singer Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) is 50. Music producer Dr. Luke is 49. Jazz musician Nicholas Payton is 49. Actor Mark Famiglietti (fah-mihl-YEH’-tee) is 43. Singer-actor Christina Milian (MIHL’-ee-ahn) is 41. Tennis player Serena Williams is 41. Actor Zoe Perry is 39. Singer/songwriter Ant Clemons is 31.