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Good morning, it’s Tuesday September 24, it’s feeling a bit like fall outside, and it’s the anniversary of a Wall Street panic that was the work of just two men.

An 1869 cartoon by Thomas Nast published after the panic. (Library of Congress)

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Sept. 24, the 267th day of 2013. There are 98 days left in the year. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s at the start of the day and should rise only into the lower 90s this afternoon under a sunny sky. Lows overnight will again be in the mid-60s.

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On September 24, 1869—144 years ago today-- thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday" after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market. It was one of several scandals that rocked the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, whose brother-in-law Gould and Fisk recruited to help in their efforts. Gould began buying large amounts of gold in the late summer of 1869, causing prices to rise and stocks to drop. Then on September 20, 1869, the two financiers began hoarding told, pushing prices still higher. Grant, meanwhile, having figured out what was happening, ordered the sale of $4 million in government gold. And when that gold hit the market, the premium plunged. Investors scrambled to sell and many were ruined. Not Fisk and Gould, though. They escaped taking a significant financial hit.

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Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 24, 1976, former hostage Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Hearst was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.

On This Date:
In 1789, Congress passed a Judiciary Act, which provided for an attorney general and a Supreme Court.
In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as Black Friday after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.
In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.
In 1948, Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist "Axis Sally," pleaded not guilty in Washington, D.C., to charges of treason. Gillars, later convicted, ended up serving 12 years in prison.
In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.
In 1961, "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" premiered on NBC.
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 later convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, but the convictions were ultimately overturned.
In 1991, kidnappers in Lebanon freed British hostage Jack Mann after holding him captive for more than two years. Children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, died in La Jolla, Calif., at age 87.
In 2001, President George W. Bush ordered a freeze on the assets of 27 people and organizations with suspected links to terrorism, including Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, and urged other nations to do likewise.

Ten years ago:
After four turbulent months, three special legislative sessions and two Democratic walkouts, both houses of the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature adopted redistricting plans favoring the GOP. The top candidates vying to replace California Governor Gray Davis joined in a lively debate.

Five years ago:
Officials reopened Galveston, Texas, to residents who were warned about Hurricane Ike's debris and disruption of utilities. Japanese lawmakers elected Taro Aso, leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, prime minister.

One year ago:
President Barack Obama told the ABC talk show "The View" that the deadly attack earlier in the month on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was not the result of mob violence; he said "there's no doubt" that the assault wasn't spontaneous. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused Obama of minimizing the Benghazi attack as a mere "bump in the road." Provocative ads began appearing in New York City subways, equating Muslim radicals with savages.

Today's Birthdays:
Actor-singer Herb Jeffries is 102. Actress Sheila MacRae is 92. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 74. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 73. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 71. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 71. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 68. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene is 67. Actor Gordon Clapp is 65. Songwriter Holly Knight is 57. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 61. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 55. Christian/jazz singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 51. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 51. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 44. Actress Megan Ward is 44. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 42. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 38. Actor Justin Bruening is 34. Olympic gold medal gymnast Paul Hamm (hahm) is 31. Actor Erik Stocklin is 31. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 25.

Thought for Today:
"History is mostly guessing, the rest is prejudice." -- Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians.

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