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Today is Monday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2019. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 16, 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was "no question" Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks; Bush pledged the government would "find them, get them running and hunt them down."

On this date:

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."

In 1910, Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y., made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

In 1976, the Episcopal Church, at its General Convention in Minneapolis, formally approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth's ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.

In 1994, a federal jury in Anchorage, Alaska, ordered Exxon Corp. to pay $5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (the U.S Supreme Court later reduced that amount to $507.5 million). 

In 2005, President George W. Bush ruled out raising taxes to pay the massive costs of Gulf Coast reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, saying other government spending had to be cut to pay for the recovery effort.

In 2007, contractors for the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA guarding a U.S. State Department convoy in Baghdad opened fire on civilian vehicles, mistakenly believing they were under attack; 14 Iraqis died. 

In 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former U.S. Navy reservist, went on a shooting rampage inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 victims before being shot dead by police.

Ten years ago: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled sweeping legislation to remake the nation's costly health care system. 

Five years ago: President Barack Obama declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world and ordered 3,000 U.S. troops to the region in emergency aid muscle. 

One year ago: At least 17 people were confirmed dead from Hurricane Florence, and the North Carolina city of Wilmington was cut off by still-rising waters as catastrophic flooding spread across the Carolinas. 

Today's Birthdays: Actor George Chakiris is 87. Movie director Jim McBride is 78. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelley (Martha & the Vandellas) is 75. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 71. Actress Susan Ruttan is 71. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) is 71. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 70. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 69. Actor Mickey Rourke is 67. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 66. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 66. TV personality Mark McEwen is 65. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 64. Magician David Copperfield is 63. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 61. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 61. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines is 60. Richard Marx is 56. Comedian Molly Shannon is 55. Singer Marc Anthony is 51. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 48. Singer Musiq is 42. Rapper Flo Rida is 40. Actress Alexis Bledel is 38. Actor Ian Harding is 33. Actress Kyla Pratt is 33.  Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 31. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 27. Actress Elena Kampouris is 22.

Thought for Today: "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." — Laurence J. Peter, Canadian writer (born this date in 1919, died 1990).

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The Associated Press 

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