Today is Saturday, Sept. 4, the 248th day of 2004 with 118 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 French novelist and politician Francois Rene de Chateaubriand in 1768; architect Daniel Burnham in 1846; engineer-inventor Lewis Latimer in 1848; composer Darius Milhaud in 1892; novelist and essayist Richard Wright in 1908; bandleader Jan Savitt in 1914; radio news commentator Paul Harvey in 1918 (age 86); actor Dick York ("Bewitched") in 1928; dancer/actress Mitzi Gaynor in 1931 (age 73); pro golfer Tom Watson in 1949 (age 55); actress Judith Ivey in 1951 (age 53); comedian Damon Wayans in 1960 (age 44); and actress Ione Skye, daughter of pop singer Donovan, in 1971 (age 33).
On this date in history:
In 1609, navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.
In 1954, the first passage of the fabled Northwest Passage was completed by icebreakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.
In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine African-American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.
Also in 1957, the Ford Motor Co. introduced the Edsel automobile.
In 1972, American swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven Olympic gold medals.
In 1980, Iraqi troops seized Iranian territory in a border dispute. The conflict later escalated into all-out war.
In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk proposed a new constitution. It provided for universal voting rights and opened the parliament to all races.
In 1992, Joseph Rauh, one of leading liberals in America for more than half a century, died at age 81.
In 1993, Fatah, the PLO's largest and most moderate faction, endorsed an accord with Israel calling for interim Palestinian self-rule.
In 1995, Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a Republican presidential hopeful, called for English to be declared the official language of the United States.
In 1997, three suicide bombings in a West Jerusalem shopping mall killed four Israelis as well as the bombers.
In 1998, for the first time since news of his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke, President Clinton said he was "sorry" for what he had done.
In 1999, more than 60 people were killed when Chechnyan terrorists detonated a car bomb near an apartment building in Dagestan, Russia.
Also in 1999, the United Nations announced that East Timor had voted for independence rather than remaining a part of Indonesia. As a result, pro-Indonesian militants went on a 5-day rampage, destroying property and killing hundreds of people.
In 2002, President Bush said he would seek congressional approval for any military move on Iraq. He also promised to consult with allies, some of whom were opposed to his "regime change" plan.
Also in 2002, more than 100 heads of state took part in UN world summit on sustainable development, during which the Bush administration was widely criticized for its environmental policies.
In 2003, President Bush planned to ask Congress for between $60 billion and $70 billion to help cover the mounting costs of operations in Iraq, a figure budget analysts said will be nearly double what Congress expected and is an acknowledgement by the administration it vastly underestimated the price tag of restoring order to Iraq.
A thought for the day: Enoch Arnold Bennett said, "Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism."