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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2019. There are 111 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 11, 2001, America faced an unprecedented day of terror as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners, sending two of the planes smashing into New York's World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania, resulting in nearly 3,000 deaths.

On this date:

In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

In 1936, Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam's first hydroelectric generator.

In 1967, the comedy-variety program "The Carol Burnett Show" premiered on CBS.

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In 1970, Ford Motor Co. introduced the Pinto, a compact that would become caught up in controversy over the safety of its gas tank. (The Pinto was discontinued in 1980.)

In 2007, a new Osama bin Laden videotape was released on the sixth anniversary of 9/11; in it, the al-Qaida leader's voice is heard commemorating one of the suicide hijackers and calling on young Muslims to follow his example by martyring themselves in attacks.

Ten years ago: On his first 9/11 anniversary as president, Barack Obama urged Americans to come together in service just as they united after the terrorist attacks.

Five years ago: In a joint statement, 10 Arab states promised to "do their share" to fight Islamic State militants, but NATO member Turkey refused to join in.

One year ago: About 1.7 million people in three states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, which was taking dead aim on the Carolinas.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Earl Holliman is 91. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 80. Movie director Brian De Palma is 79. Singer-actress-dancer Lola Falana is 77. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 76. Singer-guitarist Leo Kottke is 74. Actor Phillip Alford is 71. Actress Amy Madigan is 69. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 66.  Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (jay) Johnson is 62. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 62. Actor Scott Patterson is 61. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 61. Actress/director Roxann Dawson is 61. Actor John Hawkes is 60. Actress Anne Ramsay is 59. Actress Virginia Madsen is 58. Actress Kristy McNichol is 57. Musician-composer Moby is 54.  Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 52. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 51. Actress Taraji P. Henson is 49. Blogger Markos Moulitsas is 48. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 44. Rapper Mr. Black is 42. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 42. Rapper Ludacris is 42. Rock singer Ben Lee is 41. Actor Ryan Slattery is 41. Actress Ariana Richards is 40. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 38. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 32. Actor Tyler Hoechlin is 32. Actress

Thought for Today: "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist (1803-1882).

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Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.