Today is Friday, Sept. 10, the 254th day of 2004 with 112 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 English scientist and clergyman John Needham in 1713; physicist Arthur Holly Compton in 1892; English critic Cyril Connolly in 1903; film director Robert Wise in 1914 (age 90); golfer Arnold Palmer in 1929 (age 75); television journalist Charles Kuralt and baseball star Roger Maris, both in 1934; singer Jose Feliciano in 1945 (age 59); musician Joe Perry in 1950 (age 54), and actors Amy Irving in 1953 (age 51), Jennifer Tilly in 1958 (age 46), Colin Firth in 1960 (age 44), and Clark Johnson ("Homicide: Life on the Street") in 1964 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1813, U.S. naval units under the command of Capt. Oliver Perry defeated a British squadron in the Battle of Lake Erie.
In 1823, Simon Bolivar, who led the wars for independence from Spain in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, was named president of Peru, with dictatorial powers.
In 1846, Elias Howe received a patent for the sewing machine.
In 1963, blacks entered the white public schools of Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile, Ala., after President Kennedy federalized the state's National Guard.
In 1992, a survey found birth control pills remained the most popular form of contraception among American women.
In 1995, Pete Sampras won his third U.S. Open men's singles title by defeating Andre Agassi.
In 1996, the United Nations approved the new nuclear test ban treaty, 158-3.
Also in 1996, Hurricane Hortense hit Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, killing 20 people.
And in 1996, Reform Party presidential candidate Ross Perot choose author Pat Choate as his running mate.
In 2000, the U.S. government agreed to drop virtually all charges against Chinese-American scientist Wen Ho Lee, who'd been accused of stealing nuclear secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Three days later, Lee pleaded guilty to mishandling nuclear secrets and left court a free man.
In 2002, Switzerland and East Timor joined the United Nations, expanding the membership roll to 191.
In 2003, the former treasurer of bankrupt Enron was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal wire fraud and ordered to give up close to $1 million in profits from his illegal transaction.
A thought for the day: LaRochefoucauld wrote, "Absence diminishes small passions and increases great ones, as wind blows out candles and fans fire."