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This day in history

September 23, 2011

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► Today is Friday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2011. There are 99 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 5:04 a.m.

► Today’s birthdays: Actor Mickey Rooney is 91. Actress Margaret Pellegrini (“The Wizard of Oz’’) is 88. Singer Julio Iglesias is 68. Actor Paul Petersen (“The Donna Reed Show’’) is 66. Actress-singer Mary Kay Place is 64. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 62. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 56. Actress Rosalind Chao is 54. Golfer Larry Mize is 53. Actor Jason Alexander is 52. Actress Elizabeth Pena is 52. Actor Chi McBride is 50. Country musician Don Herron (BR549) is 49. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 47. Actress LisaRaye is 45. Singer Ani DiFranco is 41. Rock singer Sarah Bettens (K’s Choice) is 39. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 39. Actor Kip Pardue is 35. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada (“Making the Band’’) is 32. Actress Aubrey Dollar is 31. Tennis player Melanie Oudin is 20.

► In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated HMS Serapis in battle.

► 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 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.

► In 1939, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, died in London at 83. In 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon (R-Calif.) salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by delivering the “Checkers’’ speech, in which he defended himself against allegations of improper campaign fund-raising.

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

► In 1962, New York’s Philharmonic Hall (later renamed Avery Fisher Hall) formally opened as the first unit of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

► In 1973, former Argentine president Juan Peron won a landslide election victory that returned him to power; his wife, Isabel, was elected vice president.

► In 2001, an explosion at the Blue Creek Mine No. 5 in Brookwood, Ala., killed 13 coal miners.

► In 2006, three young children were found dead in an East St. Louis, Ill., apartment, hours after Tiffany Hall was charged with killing their pregnant mother and her fetus. (Hall later pleaded guilty to murder and one count of intentional homicide in the death of the fetus and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.)

► In 2010, the US delegation walked out of a UN speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after he said some in the world had speculated that the US staged the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in an attempt to assure Israel’s survival. “Sesame Street’’ announced it wouldn’t televise a taped segment in which the Muppet character Elmo sang with bustier-clad pop star Katy Perry.