On Sept. 26, 1789, Thomas Jefferson was confirmed by the Senate to be the first United States secretary of state; John Jay, the first chief justice; Edmund Randolph, the first attorney general.

Ten years ago

A declassified version of a government intelligence report ordered released by President George W. Bush said the war in Iraq had become a “cause celebre” for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that was likely to get worse before it got better. Former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow was sentenced by a federal judge in Houston to six years in prison for his role in the fallen energy company’s bankruptcy (Fastow was released in Dec. 2011). Iva Toguri D’Aquino, who was convicted and later pardoned for being World War II propagandist “Tokyo Rose,” died in Chicago at age 90.

Five years ago

Ending weeks of political brinkmanship, Congress advanced legislation to avoid a partial government shutdown. President Barack Obama appeared at a town hall meeting in Mountain View, California, hosted by the social networking company LinkedIn; the president plugged his jobs agenda in fielding questions on the employment picture, education, Medicare and Social Security.

One year ago

Visiting Philadelphia on the final leg of his six-day U.S. trip, Pope Francis extolled America’s founding ideals of liberty and equality while warning that religious freedom was under threat around the globe. Speaking at a U.N. summit on new development goals, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged billions in aid to the world’s poorest countries and said Beijing would forgive debts of those worst-off.

— By The Associated Press