This Day in History: Sept. 20

On this day, Sept. 20 ...

1973: Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match in the Houston Astrodome.

Also on this day:

  • 1873: Panic sweeps the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures
  • 1958: Martin Luther King Jr. is seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when he is stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry.
  • 1962: James Meredith, a black student, is blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith would later be admitted.)
  • 1963: President Kennedy proposes a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon.
  • 1984:  Family sitcoms "The Cosby Show" and "Who's the Boss?" premiere on NBC and ABC, respectively.
  • ​​​​​1984: A terrorist truck bomb explodes outside the U.S. Embassy annex in East Beirut, killing 24, including two U.S. military personnel.
  • 1995: The AT&T Corporation announces it is splitting into three companies.
  • 1998: Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. sits out a game, ending his MLB record-breaking consecutive-game playing streak. Ripken played 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons.
  • 2000: Independent Counsel Robert Ray announces the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there is insufficient evidence to charge President Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
  • 2004: CBS News apologizes for a "mistake in judgment" in its story questioning President George W. Bush's National Guard service, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of documents featured in the report.
  • 2017: Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, strikes the island, wiping out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout.