Sept. 16 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers, bound for America.
In 1810, Mexico began its war of independence against Spain.
In 1940, Congress passed the first peacetime draft in U.S. history, requiring the registration of all men 21 to 36 years old.
In 1974, U.S. President Gerald Ford offered conditional amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders. He said they could return to the United States if they performed up to two years of public service.
In 1978, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Iran, killing more than 25,000 people.
In 1982 Lebanese Christian militiamen entered two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut, Lebanon, and began what became known as the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Hundreds of people were killed in the three-day rampage.
In 1986, fire and fumes in the Kinross mine killed 177 people in South Africa’s worst gold mine disaster.
In 1994, a U.S. federal court jury in Anchorage, Alaska, ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion to the fishermen and natives whose lives were affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. There had never been a larger award in a pollution case.
In 1999, Congress doubled the U.S. presidential salary, from $200,000 a year to $400,000, effective in 2001.
In 2007, former NFL running back/actor O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy in a Las Vegas armed robbery. He was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.
In 2008, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw the surge of troops into Iraq, was chosen to become commander of the U.S. Central Command that covered all of the Middle East. He was succeeded in Iraq by U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno.
File Photo by Adam M. Stump/Department of Defense
In 2011, a vintage P-51 Mustang fighter plane crashed into a crowd of onlookers at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nev., killing 11 people, including the 74-year-old pilot, Jimmy Leeward, and injuring about 75 others.
In 2013, a gunman identified as Aaron Alexis of Texas killed 12 people and injured four at the Washington Navy Yard before he was shot to death by a U.S. Park Police officer.
In 2018, Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they attended a party as teenagers in the 1980s. The accusation led to congressional hearings amid Kavanaugh’s confirmation process to become a Supreme Court Justice. He was sworn in to the high court Oct. 6.
In 2020, Japanese lawmakers elected Yoshihide Suga, the new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, as the country’s prime minister to succeed Shinzo Abe, who stood down due to health issues.
In 2021, scientists announced the discovery of the oldest evidence of humans making clothes — bone tools between 90,000 years and 120,000 years old. The tools were found in the Contrebandiers Cave in Morocco.
Fossils suggest humans were using bone tools to manufacture clothes in Morocco’s Contrebandiers Cave some 120,000 years ago. File Photo by Max Planck Society