Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Saturday, September 5, the 248th day of 2009. There are 117 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1905 - First publication in Australia of Dorothy McKellar's poem My Country.

* 1939 - President Franklin Roosevelt declares US neutrality at the start of World War II in Europe; Australia calls for volunteers to create a second World War II fighting force.

* 1972 - Arab terrorists of the Black September movement attack an Israeli dormitory in the Olympic village at Munich, killing two members of the Israeli Olympic team. Nine Israelis, five terrorists and a West German policeman later die in a shootout at Munich Airport.

* 1975 - Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson, attempts to assassinate US President Gerald Ford.

* 1982 - Death of British pilot Sir Douglas Bader, who despite losing both legs in a flying accident, led his squadron to victory in the Battle of Britain.

* 1986 - Builders' Labourers Federation secretary Norm Gallagher is jailed for 18 months for receiving secret commissions.

* 1991 - After seven decades, the Soviet Union destroys its old power structures and virtually abolishes the constitution. …