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This Week in History: Man pleads not guilty to shooting his mother


Sept. 25, 2010: Gov. Tim Pawlenty declared a state of emergency in southern Minnesota due to heavy rainfall. The north and southbound lanes of Interstate 35 were closed due to flooding.

Sept. 25, 1970: Paul R. Bengtson, a 52-year-old Hartland man, entered a not guilty plea to the charge of fatally shooting his mother, Gerda Bengtson, 87.

Sept. 24, 1970: Thorp Loan and Thrift Co., the Albert Lea Clothing Co., Christensen Dress Shop and Phil’s Cafe on East William Street were razed to increase parking in the downtown area.

Sept. 24, 1960: A gasoline transport carrying 7,000 gallons of fuel rolled over into the ditch 4 miles north of Albert Lea on Highway 65. The driver swerved to avoid a car which was turning onto the Lerdal road. The driver was treated for minor bruises and released, while 2,000 gallons of gas was spilled in the mishap.



2018: Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Sept. 20, 2017: Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, struck the island, wiping out as much as 75% of the power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout.

2014: The United States and five Arab nations launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, sending waves of planes and Tomahawk cruise missiles against an array of targets.

2010: Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River after an intimate gay encounter in his dormitory room was captured by a webcam and streamed online by his roommate without his knowledge. Dharun Ravi was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and other counts and served less than a month in jail.

2001: Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.

1996: President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after saying the law should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)

1991: Four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Arizona, called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on the same date in 1993.)

1989: Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States).

1987: NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)

1982: National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

Sept. 21, 1981: The Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

1980: The Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war.

1976: Former hostage Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.)

1975: Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Gerald R. Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed.

1970: “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

1963: President John Kennedy proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon.

1962: James Meredith, a Black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)

1961: The Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting racial discrimination on interstate buses.

Sept. 26, 1960: The first-ever debate between presidential nominees took place as Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon faced off before a national TV audience from Chicago.

1958: Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when he was stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent; she died at a Queens, New York, nursing home in 2015 at age 98.)

Sept. 25, 1957: Nine Black students who had been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

1955: A jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)

Sept. 23, 1952: Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.

1873: Panic swept the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.

Sept. 22, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.

1806: The Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

1789: The first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)