• On Sept. 22, 1598, playwright Ben Jonson is indicted for manslaughter after a duel. He was very nearly hanged, but his ability to read and write saved him. He claimed “benefit of clergy,” which allowed him to be sentenced by ecclesiastical courts. Jonson became a successful playwright with his comedy “Every Man in His Humor,” which featured William Shakespeare in a leading role.
• On Sept. 18, 1904, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Glidden complete the first crossing of the Canadian Rockies by automobile, arriving exhausted from their 3,536-mile trip. The couple had driven from Boston, Mass., to Vancouver, Canada, in their 24 horsepower Napier.
• On Sept. 20, 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival opens at the French resort city of Cannes. The outbreak of World War II had forced the cancellation of the inaugural 1939 festival.
• On Sept. 19, 1960, “The Twist,” by Chubby Checker, hits the top of the charts. The song was one of the most successful singles in history, launching a national dance craze. It topped the charts again in 1962.
• On Sept. 17, 1976, NASA publicly unveils its first space shuttle, the Enterprise. Development of the aircraft-like spacecraft cost almost $10 billion and took nearly a decade.
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.