On Sept. 14:
In 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem "Defence of Fort McHenry" (later "The Star-Spangled Banner") after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British naval bombardment during the War of 1812.
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 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 1954, the Soviet Union detonated a 40-kiloton atomic test weapon.
In 1972, the family drama series "The Waltons" premiered on CBS.
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 1985, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released the Rev. Benjamin Weir after holding him captive for 16 months.
In 1991, the government of South Africa, the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party signed a national peace pact.
In 1994, on the 34th day of a strike by players, Acting Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the 1994 season was over.
In 2001, Americans packed churches and clogged public squares on a day of remembrance for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. President George W. Bush prayed with his Cabinet and attended services at Washington National Cathedral, then flew to New York, where he waded into the ruins of the World Trade Center and addressed rescue workers in a flag-waving, bullhorn-wielding show of resolve.
In 2012, fury over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad spread across the Muslim world, with deadly clashes near Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, an American fast-food restaurant set ablaze in Lebanon, and international peacekeepers attacked in the Sinai.
In 2008, losing its devastating punch as a major hurricane, Ike nevertheless drubbed the Midwest with powerful winds and floodwaters. Carlos Zambrano pitched the first no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs in 36 years, striking out 10 in a 5-0 win over Houston in a game relocated to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.
In 2013, a diplomatic breakthrough on securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, negotiated by the U.S. and Russia, averted the threat of U.S. military action.
In 2017 CIA Director Mike Pompeo canceled a planned appearance at Harvard University over the school's decision to name Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow. Former CIA deputy director Mike Morell resigned from his post at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, saying he couldn't be part of an organization that "honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information." More than 80 people were killed in an attack in southern Iraq targeting a restaurant frequented by Shiite Muslim pilgrims; the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.
Thought for Today:
"Civilizations die from philosophical calm, irony, and the sense of fair play quite as surely as they die of debauchery."
— Joseph Wood Krutch, American author, critic and educator (1893-1970)