Day in History: Battle of Britain; Birmingham Bombing; Lone Ranger Debuts

British WWII fighter planes Spitfire and Hurricane that proved to be the undoing of Germany's famed Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain in 1940.
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Today in History
Today is Sunday, Sept. 15, the 258th day of 2013. There are 107 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 15, 1887, the city of Philadelphia launched a three-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Constitution of the United States.
On this date:
In 1789, the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.
In 1857, William Howard Taft -- who served as president of the United States and as U.S. chief justice -- was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1862, Confederate forces captured Harpers Ferry, Va., during the Civil War.
In 1942, during World War II, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; the U.S. Navy ended up sinking the badly damaged vessel.
In 1954, as raucous fans looked on, Marilyn Monroe filmed the famous billowing-skirt scene for "The Seven Year Itch" over a Lexington Ave. subway grate in Manhattan (however, little, if any, of the footage ended up in the movie; the scene was later reshot on a Hollywood set).
In 1972, a federal grand jury in Washington indicted seven men in connection with the Watergate break-in.
In 1982, Iran's former foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh (sah-DEK' goht-BZAH'-deh), was executed after he was convicted of plotting against the government. The first edition of USA Today was published.

Thought for Today: "I think the greatest curse of American society has been the idea of an easy millennialism -- that some new drug, or the next election or the latest in social engineering will solve everything." -- Robert Penn Warren, American poet (born 1905, died this date in 1989).

In entertainment history -

On September 15th,
In 1965, "Lost in Space" and "Green Acres" premiered on CBS.
In 1969, Ed Sullivan released "The Sulli-Gulli," his first and only rock record. He was hoping it would create a new dance.
In 1971, the detective series "Columbo," with Peter Falk in the title role, debuted on NBC.
In 1974, bassist Gary Thain of Uriah Heep suffered a near-fatal electric shock during a concert in Dallas.
In 1979, ABBA began its first North American tour, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 1980, David Bowie opened on Broadway in the title role of Bernard Pomerance's play "The Elephant Man." The production had already played in Denver and Chicago.
In 1986, "L.A. Law" made its debut on NBC.
In 1990, Steve Miller's song "The Joker" hit No. 1 in Europe, 16 years after it had hit No. 1 in the U.S. The song saw newfound popularity after it had been used in a Levi jeans commercial.
In 1992, federal officials cited pilot error for the helicopter crash that killed guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990 in Wisconsin. The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot didn't plan properly for "darkness, fog, haze and rising terrain." Four others were also killed in the crash.
Also in 1992, the NTSB said the crew and specialists on the ground were responsible for the plane crash that killed most of Reba McEntire's band in 1991.
In 2004, guitarist Johnny Ramone of The Ramones died of prostate cancer in his home in Los Angeles. He was 55.