In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President George H.W. Bush. In Illinois, Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun became the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1994, Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina, was arrested for drowning her two young sons, Michael and Alex, nine days after claiming the children had been abducted by a Black carjacker.
In 1997, the Supreme Court let stand California’s groundbreaking Proposition 209, which banned race and gender preference in hiring and school admissions.
In 2014, 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, a new 1,776-foot skyscraper at the World Trade Center site opened for business, marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation.
In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency in an election that saw more than 103 million Americans vote early, many by mail, amid a coronavirus pandemic that upended a campaign marked by fear and rancor, waged against a backdrop of protests over racial injustice. As vote counting continued in battleground states, Biden’s victory would not be known for more than three days; Republican President Donald Trump would refuse to concede, falsely claiming that he was a victim of widespread voter fraud. Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, Black person and person of South Asian descent to become vice president. Democrats clinched two more years of controlling the House but saw their majority shrink. Republicans emerged with a two-seat Senate majority that would be erased by Democratic wins in two runoffs in Georgia in January.
Ten years ago: The lights went back on in lower Manhattan to the relief of residents who’d been plunged into darkness for nearly five days by Superstorm Sandy, but there was deepening resentment in the city’s outer boroughs and suburbs over a continued lack of power and maddening gas shortages. New York’s newly relocated NBA team, the former New Jersey Nets, hosted the first regular-season game by a major sports team in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957; the Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 107-100.
Five years ago: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan and triggered a search that left some of his comrades severely wounded, was spared a prison sentence by a military judge in North Carolina; President Donald Trump blasted the decision as a “complete and total disgrace.” Netflix said it was cutting all ties with Kevin Spacey after a series of allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and that it would not be a part of any further production of “House of Cards” that included him. A massive report from scientists inside and outside the government concluded that the evidence of global warming was stronger than ever. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky suffered five broken ribs in an attack by a longtime next-door neighbor as Paul did yard work at his home. (Rene Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and was sentenced to 30 days in prison.)
One year ago: After serving more than seven years in an Indonesian prison for killing her mother at a luxury resort on the island of Bali, Heather Mack of Chicago was indicted on murder conspiracy charges in the United States and taken into federal custody on her arrival at O’Hare International Airport. Police in western Australia used a battering ram to enter a locked house and rescue a 4-year-old girl, Cleo Smith, who’d been abducted from a camping tent more than two weeks earlier; the suspect in the kidnapping was arrested nearby. (Terence Kelly pleaded guilty to the abduction.) A government advisory committee recommended that all U.S. adults younger than 60 be vaccinated against hepatitis B. The Federal Reserve announced a plan to gradually reduce bond purchases, a first step in withdrawing emergency aid for the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lois Smith is 92. Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis is 89. Actor Shadoe Stevens is 76. Singer Lulu is 74. “Vogue” editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is 73. Comedian-actor Roseanne Barr is 70. Actor Kate Capshaw is 69. Comedian Dennis Miller is 69. Actor Kathy Kinney is 69. Singer Adam Ant is 68. Sports commentator and former quarterback Phil Simms is 67. Director-screenwriter Gary Ross is 66. Actor Dolph Lundgren is 65. Rock musician C.J. Pierce (Drowning Pool) is 50. Actor Francois Battiste (TV: “Ten Days in the Valley”) is 46. Olympic gold medal figure skater Evgeni Plushenko is 40. Actor Julie Berman is 39. Actor Antonia Thomas (TV: “The Good Doctor”) is 36. Alternative rock singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett is 35. TV personality and model Kendall Jenner (TV: “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”) is 27.