Today is Wednesday, Sept. 3, the 246th day of 2003 with 119 to follow.
The moon is waxing in its first quarter. The morning stars are Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include teacher Prudence Crandall, controversial for her efforts to educate black girls, in 1803; architect Louis Sullivan, called the father of the skyscraper, in 1856; automobile designer Ferdinand Porsche in 1875; actor Alan Ladd in 1913; actress/singer Kitty Carlisle in 1915 (age 88); cartoonist Mort Walker ("Beetle Bailey") in 1923 (age 80); actresses Anne Jackson in 1926 (age 77), Eileen Brennan in 1937 (age 66), Pauline Collins in 1940 (age 63) and Valerie Perrine in 1943 (age 60); and actor Charlie Sheen in 1965 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1777, the American flag was flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch's Bridge, Md.
In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the seven-year American Revolutionary War and recognizing U.S. independence from Britain.
In 1916, the Allies turned back the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun.
On this date in 1936, Britain's Sir Malcolm Campbell set a new land-speed record on the Bonneville salt flats of Utah, Campbell and his 2,500-hp motor car Bluebird made two runs over a one-mile course at speeds averaging 301.129 mph. In breaking the 300-mph barrier, he surpassed the world record of 276.82 mph that he had set earlier in the year.
In 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. Britain was quickly joined by France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
In 1942, Frank Sinatra began his solo singing career after leaving Tommy Dorsey's orchestra.
bbis iIn 1984, a 28-year-old Chicago print shop employee won $40 million in the Illinois state lottery. At that point, it was the largest sum any individual had ever won in a lottery.
In 1991, film director Frank Capra, best known for such feel-good movies as "It's A Wonderful Life," died at the age of 94.
In 1992, an Italian plane carrying eight people and nearly 10,000 pounds of blankets for Bosnian war victims crashed en route to Sarajevo. Evidence suggested it was shot down.
Also in 1992, Nobel laureate geneticist Barbara McClintock died at 90.
In 1994, Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited Moscow and met with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. In 1996, the United States fired 27 missiles in Iraq, hitting air defense batteries. Despite criticism from Arab allies and some European allies, the U.S. fired 17 more missiles the next day.
In 1997, Arizona Gov. Fife Symington was convicted of fraud by a federal jury in Phoenix. He resigned two days later, becoming the third governor in recent years to quit because of a criminal conviction.
In 1999, charges were dropped against nine photographers and a motorcyclist in connection with the 1997 crash that killed Princess Diana. Two French magistrates decided their actions (the 10 had been pursuing Diana's car through the streets of Paris) could not be definitely linked to the accident.
In 2001, the U.S. and Israel walked out of the United Nations Conference on racism in Durban, South Africa.
A thought for the day: Bert Leston Taylor said, "A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you."