Today is Friday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2013. There are 102 days left in the year.
On this date in:
1519: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan is killed en route, but one of his ships eventually circles the world.)
1870: Italian troops take control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.
1873: Panic sweeps the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.
1884: The National Equal Rights Party is formed during a convention of suffragists in San Francisco; the convention nominates Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood for president.
1911: The British liner RMS Olympic collides with the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight; although seriously damaged, the Olympic is able to return to Southampton under its own power.
1947: Former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia dies.
1958: Martin Luther King Jr. is seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when Izola Curry stabs him in the chest. (Curry is later found mentally incompetent.)
1962: James Meredith, a black student, is blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
1967: The Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is christened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
1973: In their so-called battle of the sexes, tennis star Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
1979: Jean-Bedel Bokassa, self-styled head of the Central African Empire, is overthrown in a French-supported coup while on a visit to Libya.
1988: Christopher W. Daniels, a 19-year-old Warren man who completed only the ninth grade before dropping out of school at age 18, is charged with aggravated murder in the beating death of George Melnick, 65
Robert E. Brown, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation, denies permits for three proposed group homes for retarded adults in Boardman Township.
Ohio Gov. Richard F. Celeste says another tax increase may be necessary in Ohio to properly fund public education.
1973: About 60 elementary school children escape serious injury when a Mohawk Area School bus goes over Edinburg Hill off Route 224 and flips.
Campbell Superintendent Robert Hedrick says the city’s schools will close Dec. 2 if voters reject a 6-mill levy on the November ballot.
Willie Mays, who has earned legendary status playing for the New York Giants, San Francisco and the New York Mets, announces his retirement during a press conference at Shea Stadium.
1963: Fifteen firemen are overcome while fighting a fire in Girard that destroyed three old buildings on W. Liberty Street and three remain hospitalized.
Mahoning County authorities launch one of the largest manhunts in history for David H. Zirwas, 25, of Lake Milton, accused killing Ben Krawiecki, 46, of Boardman and staging three armed robberies and raping a Warren woman and pistol whipping her male companion at Lake Milton.
A spectacular fire, fueled by upholstered furniture, destroys a warehouse and two display rooms at Wayside Furniture on Route 422 in McKinley Heights.
1938: Mahoning County commissioners notify the board of elections that they are withdrawing a request for a special election on a one-mill relief levy for the poor.
The Rev. Herbert Thompson of Salem is appointed pastor of Epworth Methodist Church in Youngstown
The Youngstown Board of Education assigns 11 architects for 12 schools on the proposed PWA reconditioning and expansion program.