By The Associated Press
Wed Sep 20, 8:01 PM ET
Today is Thursday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2006. There are 101 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 21, 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.
On this date:
In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial that declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
In 1937, "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published.
In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC television.
In 1964, Malta gained independence from Britain.
In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.
In 1973, the U.S. Senate confirmed Henry Kissinger to be Secretary of State.
In 1976, Orlando Letelier, one-time foreign minister to Chilean President Salvador Allende, was killed when a bomb exploded in his car in Washington, D.C.
In 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, packing winds of up to 135 mph, crashed into Charleston, S.C.
Ten years ago: John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island, Ga. The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women. President Clinton and Republican rival Bob Dole agreed to face off in two debates without Ross Perot.
Five years ago: Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks. Hollywood's finest paid tribute to real-life heroes during a telethon for victims of the terrorist attacks that was carried on more than 30 networks.
One year ago: Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph hour monster as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were evacuated. A JetBlue Airbus circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside the cabin, passengers were able to watch the drama unfold on live television; the plane landed safely. Japan's Parliament re-elected Junichiro Koizumi prime minister. Former National Organization for Women president Molly Yard died in Pittsburgh at age 93.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Larry Hagman is 75. Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 72. Actor-comedian Henry Gibson is 71. Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 62. Author Stephen King is 59. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 59. Musician Don Felder (The Eagles) is 59. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 56. Rock musician Philthy Animal is 52. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 49. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 47. Actor David James Elliott is 46. Actress Nancy Travis is 45. Actor Rob Morrow is 44. Actress Cheryl Hines is 41. Country singer Faith Hill is 39. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 39. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 38. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 38. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 38. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 35. Actor Luke Wilson is 35. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 28. TV personality Nicole Richie is 25. Actress Maggie Grace is 23. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 23. Actors Nikolas and Lorenzo Brino ("7th Heaven") are 8.
Thought for Today: "The very idea that there is another idea is something gained." — Richard Jefferies, English author (1848-1887).