Today, Sept. 9, in history: the United States of America is named, a perfect game and safe driving act signed into law, according to

In June 1776, Richard Henry Lee began his resolve that he presented to Congress, "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States ..." This was approved on July 2. Thomas Jefferson's edited Declaration of Independence was adopted July 4 with the above statement in the closing paragraph.

The document was drafted, signed and sent to Great Britain in September and the Continental Congress replaced the United Colonies with the United States of America.

From Brooklyn, N.Y., Sandy Koufax loved basketball, even went to college on a scholarship. In 1954, being a southpaw, Koufax was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

He won only 36 games from 1955-61. Veteran catcher Norm Sherry gave him advice, "take the grunt out of the fastball." Things turned around. From 1962-66, his walks went from five to two per game and three no-hitters in each year of '62, '63 and '64.

The game was Los Angeles Dodgers versus Chicago Cubs. Sandy Koufax versus fellow lefty Bob Hendley. Dodgers score one in the fifth. Cubs held scoreless. Closing in on a perfect game, facing the middle of the lineup, Koufax struck out the last five batters. The first and only perfect game for Sandy Koufax took place in 1965.

Koufax retired in 1966 and in his career won three Cy Young Awards unanimously in 1963, 1965 and 1966. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson said as many Americans were being killed on our streets and highways as that we lost in all our wars. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Highway Safety Act were both signed into law.

Safety experts and reformers, including Ralph Nader, argued that the government could do something to make the roads safer and automakers could make sturdier cars.

The result was sturdier cars, seat belts, rupture-resistant fuel tanks, door latches staying latched in crashes, mirrors, lights and much more.

The Highway Safety Act required better street lights, guardrails installed and stronger barriers between opposing traffic.

Also on Sept. 9:

  • 1893: In the White House, President Grover Cleveland's wife, Frances, gave birth to their daughter, Esther.
  • 1954: Orleansville, Algeria -- experiencing many tremors each year -- was struck by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake lasting 15 seconds, killing 1,600 people and injuring 5,000.
  • 1967: Air Force Sgt. Duane D. Hackney rescues an Air Force pilot in Vietnam. He receives the Air Force Cross, which is the nation's second-highest award for bravery in action.