Today is Thursday, Oct. 4, the 278th day of 2012 with 88 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Venus and Jupiter. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus 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 Runyon in 1880; pioneer movie comedian Buster Keaton in 1895; actors Charlton Heston in 1923, Clifton Davis in 1945 (age 67), Susan Sarandon in 1946 (age 66), Armand Assante in 1949 (age 63) and Liev Schreiber in 1967 (age 45); football Hall of Fame member Sam Huff in 1934 (age 78); authors Jackie Collins in 1937 (age 75) and Anne Rice and Roy Blount Jr., both in 1941 (age 71); civil rights activist H. Rap Brown in 1943 (age 69); former baseball manager Tony La Russa in 1944 (age 68); actor Christoph Waltz in 1956 (age 56); recording executive and businessman Russell Simmons in 1957 (age 55); singer Jon Secada in 1962 (age 50); and actors Alicia Silverstone in 1976 (age 36) and Rachael Leigh Cook in 1979 (age 33).
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 1876, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now Texas A&M, opened. It was the first public higher education institution in Texas.
In 1883, the Orient Express train made its first run.
In 1890, Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.
In 1895, the U.S. Open men's golf tournament is first contested. It was won by Horace Rawlins.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik 1.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York on the first visit by a reigning pope to the United States.
In 1976, Earl Butz resigned as U.S. agriculture secretary with an apology for what he called the "gross indiscretion" of uttering a racist remark.
In 1989, Art Shell was hired by the Oakland Raiders as the first black head coach in the modern National Football League.
In 1991, the United States and 23 other countries 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.
Also in 1992, the Mozambique government and RENAMO rebels signed a historic peace accord, ending 16 years of civil war in the southeast African nation.
In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered several hundred more U.S. troops to Somalia one day after the deaths of three U.S. Marines in Mogadishu.
In 2001, a Siberian Airlines jetliner exploded and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 64 passengers and 12 crew members. The United States said evidence indicated the plane had been hit by a missile fired during a Ukrainian military training exercise.
In 2002, the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, pleaded guilty to charges against him stemming from his alleged effort to detonate explosives hidden in his sneakers during a 2001 Paris-to-Miami flight.
In 2003, a suicide bomber killed herself and 19 others in an attack on a crowded restaurant in the northern Israeli port of Haifa.
In 2004, SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded rocket to reach the edge of space, flew to an altitude above 62 miles over the California desert.
Also in 2004, Gordon Cooper, one of the first U.S. astronauts, who logged more than 225 hours in space, died at his California home. He was 77.
In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law a bill allocating funds for a 700-mile fence on the United States-Mexico border to help control immigration.
In 2007, the U.S. Justice Department issued a secret, so-called "torture memo" endorsing harsh interrogation techniques, The New York Times reported.
In 2008, the U.S. Labor Department announced the United States lost 159,000 jobs in September, the most in five years.
In 2009, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement scored a landslide victory in the Greek elections. U.S.-born George Papandreou became prime minister, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
In 2010, a sludge reservoir burst in Hungary, sending 200 million gallons of toxic mud into the roads of three villages, killing seven people, injuring 150 others and driving hundreds from their homes.
In 2011, at least 50 people were killed in a suspected suicide explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia. Witnesses said the victims were students hoping for scholarships to Sudan and Turkey.
A thought for the day: Damon Runyon 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."