Today is Thursday, Sept. 13, the 257th day of 2012 with 109 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include U.S. Army bacteriologist Walter Reed in 1851; Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, hero of World War I, in 1860; British union leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Arthur Henderson in 1863; author Sherwood Anderson in 1876; English author J.B. Priestley in 1894; actor Claudette Colbert in 1903; Bill Monroe, the "father of bluegrass" music, in 1911; British author Roald Dahl in 1916; singer Mel Torme in 1925; actor Barbara Bain in 1931 (age 81); TV producer Fred Silverman in 1937 (age 75); "Miss Manners" Judith Martin in 1938 (age 74); actor Richard Kiel in 1939 (age 73); Costa Rican Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias in 1940 (age 72); singer David Clayton-Thomas in 1941 (age 71); singer/songwriter Peter Cetera and actor Jacqueline Bisset, both in 1944 (age 68); singer/actor Nell Carter in 1948; actors Jean Smart in 1951 (age 61); musicians Randy Jones (The Village People) and Don Was, both in 1952 (age 60); talk show host Tavis Smiley in 1964 (age 48); Olympic track gold medalist Michael Johnson in 1967 (age 45); entertainment entrepreneur Tyler Perry in 1969 (age 43); fashion designer Stella McCartney in 1971 (age 41); country musician Joe Don Rooney in 1975 (age 37); singer Fiona Apple in 1977 (age 35); and actor Ben Savage in 1980 (age 32).
On this date in history:
In 1759, in the French and Indian War, the British defeated the French near the city of Quebec.
In 1788, Congress authorized the first U.S. national election, to be conducted "the first Wednesday in January next (1789)."
In 1814, during the British attack on Fort McHenry, Md., Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
In 1922, the temperature at El Azizia, Libya, reached 136 degrees Fahrenheit, generally accepted as the world's highest recorded atmospheric temperature.
In 1971, New York state forces stormed and regained control of Attica state prison in a riot that killed 42 people.
In 1993, in a dramatic ceremony at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a declaration of principles for Palestinian self-rule.
In 1996, the Dow closed at more than 5,838, a record high.
In 1998, George Wallace, former Alabama governor, presidential candidate and one of the most controversial politicians in U.S. history, died in Montgomery, Ala., at the age of 79.
In 1999, at least 118 people were killed in the bombing of a Moscow apartment building. The blast was the latest in a series of explosions blamed on terrorists from the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
In 2000, Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, accused of stealing sensitive nuclear weapons data, was freed after serving nine months in prison.
In 2005, the owners of a New Orleans-area nursing home where 34 residents died during Katrina flooding were charged with 34 counts of negligent homicide. Officials said the residents apparently had been left to fend for themselves against the rising waters.
Also in 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush said he took responsibility for "serious problems" in the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. He said he wanted to look forward to recovery and do assessments later.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike, the second Category 2 storm to hit the United States in two weeks, battered Galveston and Houston with heavy rain and 110-mph winds, forcing about 1 million people to flee in advance and leaving millions with no power for more than a week. Officials said Ike claimed 72 lives, 37 of them in Texas.
Also in 2008, five bombs exploded within 25 minutes in crowded New Delhi markets, killing 22 and injuring dozens.
In 2009, a fire at a clinic for drug addicts in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan killed 38 people. Forty others were rescued.
In 2010, violent crime in the United States declined in 2009 for the third consecutive year, down 5.3 percent, the FBI said in its annual report. Property crime was down 4.6 percent.
In 2011, suicide bombers and gunmen carried out a coordinated attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kabul's police chief said six people had died and 16 were injured. NATO and U.S. Embassy officials said none of their people were injured.
Also in 2011, the American poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent in 2010, the highest since 1993, and the third consecutive year of increases. The U.S. Census Bureau said that translates to a record 46.2 million people in poverty.
A thought for the day: Washington Irving said, "There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."