Today is Thursday, Sept. 2, the 246th day of 2004 with 120 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Mars and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include poet Eugene Field in 1850; Hiram Maxim, inventor of the automobile muffler and firearm silencer, in 1869; authors Cleveland Amory in 1917 and Allen Drury in 1918; dancer Marge Champion in 1923 (81); former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth in 1937 (age 67); Christa McAuliffe, born on this date in 1948, was the school teacher who became an astronaut but was killed when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff in 1986; also born in 1948, pro football star/sportscaster Terry Bradshaw, (age 56); actor Mark Harmon in 1951 (age 53); tennis champion Jimmy Connors in 1952 (age 52); singer k.d. lang in 1961 (age 43), and actors Keanu Reeves in 1964 (age 40) and Selma Hayek in 1966 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1666, the Great Fire of London began. It eventually destroyed 13,000 houses in four days.
In 1935, one of the worst hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland ripped through the Florida Keys, killing more than 350 people.
In 1945, Japan signed an unconditional surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending World War II.
In 1983, Moscow admitted to the Sept. 1 shooting down of a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747, killing all 269 people aboard, but said the jumbo jet intentionally invaded Soviet air space.
In 1991, the European Community-approved plan to end the civil war in Yugoslavia was accepted by the Yugoslav federal presidency. But federal forces renewed their offensive against Croatia.
In 1992, more than 100 people were killed when earthquake-spawned tidal waves swept Pacific coast villages in Nicaragua.
Also in 1992, California's historic 64-day budget deadlock ended with the approval of a compromise plan.
And in 1992, former world chess champion Bobby Fischer defied U.S. warnings and U.N. sanctions against Yugoslavia to begin his first official game in 20 years.
In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 257.36 points for its largest point gain ever, closing at 7879.
In 1998, a Swissair jetliner en route from New York City to Geneva, Switzerland, crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. All 229 people aboard were killed.
In 1999, the Clintons announced they were buying a home of their own in the New York suburb of Chappaqua, N.Y., for $1.7 million. The purchase was aimed at establishing residency for first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who later became a U.S. senator representing New York.
In 2003, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
A thought for the day: Logan Pearsall Smith said, "There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail."