In 1861, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant occupied Paducah, Ky., during the Civil War.
In 1888, diplomat and financier Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. was born in Boston.
In 1916, the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tenn., by Clarence Saunders.
In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.
In 1943, 79 people were killed when a New York-bound Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.
In 1952, Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal.
In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.
In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound jetliners. (Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a London-bound plane hijacked on September 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on the ground in Egypt. No hostages were harmed.)
In 1985, all 31 people aboard a Midwest Express Airlines DC-9 were killed when the Atlanta-bound jetliner crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field.
In 1991, the Soviet Union recognized the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Russian lawmakers upheld a decision by residents of Leningrad to restore the city’s pre-revolutionary name, St. Petersburg.
In 1997, a public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.
In 2002, meeting outside Washington, D.C., for only the second time since 1800, Congress convened in New York to pay homage to the victims and heroes of September 11.
Ten years ago: Mahmoud Abbas resigned as Palestinian prime minister. In the U.S. Open, Justine Henin-Hardenne won the all-Belgian women’s singles final, beating fellow countrywoman Kim Clijsters, 7-5, 6-1.
Five years ago: In the wake of Russia’s military standoff with Georgia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that now was not the right time for the U.S. to move forward on a once-celebrated deal for civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia. (President George W. Bush canceled the deal two days later.) More than 100 people died in a rockslide that crashed into a shantytown just outside Cairo, Egypt. Actress Anita Page died in Los Angeles at age 98.
One year ago: President Barack Obama conceded only halting progress toward solving the nation’s economic woes, but vowed in a Democratic National Convention finale, “Our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met.” Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer who’d gained notoriety after his much-younger wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007, was convicted of murdering a previous wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson was later sentenced to 38 years in prison.) Rihanna won video of the year at the MTV Awards for “We Found Love.” One Direction won best pop video, best new artist and most share-worthy video for “What Makes You Beautiful.”
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian JoAnne Worley is 78. Country singer David Allan Coe is 74. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 70. Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 69. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 66. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 61. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 56. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 55. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 55. Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 53. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 52. Rock musician Scott Travis (Judas Priest) is 52. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 52. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is 51. Rock musician Kevin Miller is 51. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 51. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 50. Actress Betsy Russell is 50. Actress Rosie Perez is 49. Rhythm and blues singer Macy Gray is 46. Singer CeCe Peniston is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 44. Actress Daniele Gaither is 43. Rock singer Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) is 42. Actor Dylan Bruno is 41. Actor Idris Elba is 41. Actress Justina Machado is 41. Actress Anika Noni (ah-NEE’-kuh NOH’-nee) Rose is 41. Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 39. Actor Justin Whalin is 39. Actress Naomie Harris is 37. Rapper Noreaga is 36. Actress Natalia Cigliuti is 35. Rapper Foxy Brown is 35. Rock singer Max George (The Wanted) is 25.