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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Today is Saturday, Sept. 24, the 267th day of 2005. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history: On Sept. 24, 1789, Congress passed the First Judiciary Act, which provided for an attorney general and a Supreme Court.

Ten years ago: Israel and the PLO agreed to sign a pact at the White House ending nearly three decades of Israeli occupation of West Bank cities. A 16-year-old boy in Cuers, France, killed 13 people before turning a gun on himself.

Five years ago: For the first time, citizens of the Yugoslav federation – Serbia and Montenegro – voted directly for president. (Supporters of opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica declared victory the next day, but the election commission said a runoff was needed, prompting massive protests that toppled President Slobodan Milosevic.

One year ago: Iraq’s interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, appealed to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly to unite behind his country’s effort to rein in spiraling violence, lighten the foreign debt and improve security ahead of the January elections. The California Air Resources Board backed sweeping reductions in auto emissions. Author Francoise Sagan died in Honfleur, France, at age 69.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1896, author F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minn.

In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.

In 1934, Babe Ruth made his farewell appearance as a regular player with the New York Yankees in a game against the Boston Red Sox. (The Sox won, 5-0.)

In 1948, Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist “Axis Sally,” pleaded innocent in Washington, D.C., to charges of treason. (Gillars ended up serving 12 years in prison.)

In 1955, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Va.

In 1963, the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union limiting nuclear testing.

In 1969, the trial of the “Chicago Eight” (later seven) began. (Five of the defendants were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention, but the convictions were ultimately overturned.)

In 1976, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery. (She was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Carter.)

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