Today is Thursday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2001 with 88 to follow.
The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.
The morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
The evening stars are Mercury and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States, in 1822; Frederic Remington, painter of the American West, in 1861; journalist/author Damon Runyan in 1884; pioneer movie comedian Buster Keaton in 1895; actors Charlton Heston in 1924 (age 77), Clifton Davis in 1945 (age 56), Susan Sarandon in 1946 (age 55) and Armand Assante in 1949 (age 52); authors Jackie Collins and Anne Rice, both in 1941 (age 60); singer Patti LaBelle in 1944 (age 57); and actress Alicia Silverstone ("Clueless") in 1976 (age 25).
On this date in history:
In 1777, American forces under Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British in a battle at Germantown, Pa.
In 1890, Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik-1.
In 1976, Earl Butz resigned as agriculture secretary with an apology for what he called the "gross indiscretion" of uttering a racist remark.
In 1989, Art Shell was appointed coach of Oakland Raiders, making him the first black coach in the modern NFL.
In 1991, 24 countries, including the United States, signed an agreement banning mineral and oil exploration in Antarctica for 50 years.
In 1992, as many as 250 people were killed when an El Al 747 cargo plane crashed into an apartment building on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Also in 1992, the Mozambique government and RENAMO rebels signed an historic peace accord, ending 16 years of civil war in the southeast African nation.
In 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin decided to keep Adm. Frank Kelso as Chief of Naval Operations, despite his involvement in the "Tailhook Scandal."
Also in 1993, President Clinton ordered several hundred more U.S. troops to Somalia one day after the deaths of three Marines in Mogadishu.
In 1995, Pope John Paul II visited the United States for the fourth time.
Also in 1995, Hurricane Opal cut a path of destruction through the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
In 1997, hundreds of thousands of Christian men gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to reaffirm their faith and to pledge to preserve the structure of the family. The rally was organized by Promise Keepers, an evangelical group founded by former football coach Bill McCartney.
A thought for the day: author Damon Runyan wrote, "... always try to rub up against money, for if you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you."