This Day in History; Today in Sports History 9/26/12

September 26

1960: First Kennedy-Nixon debate: For the first time in U.S. history, a debate between major party presidential candidates is shown on television. The presidential hopefuls, John F. Kennedy, a Democratic senator of Massachusetts, and Richard M. Nixon, the vice president of the United States, met in a Chicago studio to discuss U.S. domestic matters. Kennedy emerged the apparent winner from this first of four televised debates, partly owing to his greater ease before the camera than Nixon, who, unlike Kennedy, seemed nervous and declined to wear makeup. Nixon fared better in the second and third debates, and on October 21 the candidates met to discuss foreign affairs in their fourth and final debate. Less than three weeks later, on November 8, Kennedy won 49.7 percent of the popular vote in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, surpassing by a fraction the 49.6 percent received by his Republican opponent.

One year after leaving the vice presidency, Nixon returned to politics, winning the Republican nomination for governor of California. Although he lost the election, Nixon returned to the national stage in 1968 in a successful bid for the presidency. Like Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Nixon declined to debate his opponent in the 1968 presidential campaign. Televised presidential debates returned in 1976, and have been held in every presidential campaign since.

1580:Drake circumnavigates the globe

1776: Congress elects agents to negotiate treaty with France

1820: The famous frontiersman Daniel Boone dies in Missouri

1884: Rebels begin attack against Fort Davidson, Missouri

1918: Meuse-Argonne offensive opens

1944: Allies slaughtered by Germans in Arnhem

1945: First American soldier killed in Vietnam

1957: West Side Story premieres on Broadway

1969: The Brady Bunch premieres & Nixon responds to critics

1989: Anti-censorship law approved by Soviet legislature

2009: Screen legend Paul Newman dies

Sports

1971: Four 20-game winners: Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer wins his 20th game of the year, becoming the fourth Orioles pitcher to win 20 games in the 1971 season. This made the 1971 Orioles pitching staff the first since the 1920 Chicago White Sox to field four 20-game winners. The Orioles began the 1971 season as the two-time defending American League champions and the defending World Series champions. The team was led by two Robinsons: outfielder Frank, a two-time MVP and the 1966 winner of the triple crown and Brooks, an excellent hitter and one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball history. The team’s impressive defense featured four eventual 1971 Gold Glove winners – shortstop Mark Belanger, second baseman Davey Johnson, center fielder Paul Blair and Brooks Robinson – as well as three pitching aces: Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar. To many in baseball, the team, with legendary manager Earl Weaver at the helm, was considered nothing short of unbeatable. As it turned out, the team was even better than expected thanks to the stellar play of its fourth starting pitcher, the previously unremarkable Pat Dobson. Dobson played so well that he reached the 20-game plateau before Jim Palmer, the most celebrated of the team’s aces and a future Hall of Famer. By the time Palmer took the mound on September 26 against the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles had already clinched the American League East and were readying themselves for a playoff showdown with the Oakland Athletics. Palmer dismantled the Cleveland offense with his typical pinpoint precision and control, giving up only three hits on the way to a 5-0 Oriole victory, for his 20th win of the season. Palmer ended 1971 with 20-10 record and a 2.71 ERA, while McNally went 21-5 with a 2.89, Cuellar went 20-9 with a 3.08 and Dobson finished 20-8 with a 2.90.

After beating the A’s in the playoffs, the Orioles lost a heartbreaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, led by superstar Roberto Clemente.

1919 – The St. Louis Browns defeated the New York Yankees 6-2 in a game that lasted 55 minutes. The game was the second game of a doubleheader.

1962 – Maury Wills (LA Dodgers) became the first player to steal 100 bases. He ended the season with 104.

1981 – Nolan Ryan (Houston Astros) became the first player to pitch five no-hitters with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1983 – The Australia II won the America’s Cup. It was the first time in 132 years that a U.S. yacht lost the cup.

1994 – The double murder trial for O.J. Simpson began with jury selection in Los Angeles.

1995 – The prosecution began its closing argument in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

1998 – Mark McGwire hit home runs 67 and 68 for the season.

1998 – Dennis Eckersly (Boston Red Sox) appeared in his 1,071st game.

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