Today in History: September 23, Nixon’s “Checkers” speech


Today is Saturday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2023. There are 99 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 2:50 a.m. EDT.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 23, 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech for its reference to his family’s cocker spaniel.

On this date:

In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British.

In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

In 1955, a jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)

In 1957, nine Black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.

In 1962, “The Jetsons,” an animated cartoon series about a Space Age family, premiered as the ABC television network’s first series in color.

In 1987, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., withdrew from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.

In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter apparently burned up as it attempted to go into orbit around the Red Planet.

In 2001, President George W. Bush returned the American flag to full staff at Camp David, symbolically ending a period of national mourning following the 9/11 attacks.

In 2002, Gov. Gray Davis signed a law making California the first state to offer workers paid family leave.

In 2011, after 41 years, the soap opera “All My Children” broadcast its final episode on ABC.

In 2016, President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security. (Both the House and Senate voted to override the veto.)

In 2018, capping a comeback from four back surgeries, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.

In 2020, President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he were to lose the election, telling reporters, “We’re going to have to see what happens.”

In 2021, opening a major new phase in the U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.

In 2022, Roger Federer played his final professional match after an illustrious career that included 20 Grand Slam titles.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Julio Iglesias is 80. Actor Paul Petersen (TV: “The Donna Reed Show”) is 78. Actor/singer Mary Kay Place is 76. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 74. Director/playwright George C. Wolfe is 69. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 68. Actor Rosalind Chao is 66. Golfer Larry Mize is 65. Actor Jason Alexander is 64. Actor Chi McBride is 62. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 59. Actor LisaRaye is 57. Singer Ani (AH’-nee) DiFranco is 53. Rock singer Sam Bettens (K’s Choice) is 51. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 51. Actor Kip Pardue is 47. Actor Anthony Mackie is 45. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada (TV: “Making the Band”) is 44. Actor Aubrey Dollar is 43. Actor Brandon Victor Dixon is 42. Actor David Lim is 40. Actor Cush Jumbo is 38. Actor Skylar Astin is 36. Former tennis player Melanie Oudin (oo-DAN’) is 32.

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