Today is Friday, Sept. 12, the 255th day of 2003 with 110 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Pluto, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun, in 1818; newspaperman Charles Dudley Warner in 1829; critic H.L. Mencken in 1880; French entertainer Maurice Chevalier in 1888; comedian Ben Blue in 1901; actress Margaret Hamilton in 1902; bandleader Shep Fields in 1910; U.S. Olympic track star Jesse Owens in 1913; singer/bandleader Eddy Howard in 1914; singer Ella Mae Morse in 1924; actor Ian Holm and country music singer George Jones, both in 1931 (age 72); circus animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams in 1934; actress Linda Gray in 1940 (age 63); singers Maria Muldaur in 1943 (age 60) and Barry White in 1944 (age 59); and actors Peter Scolari in 1954 (age 49), Rachel Ward in 1957 (age 46), and Darren E. Burrows ("Northern Exposure") in 1966 (age 37).
On this date in history:
In 1609, Henry Hudson discovered what's now known as the Hudson River.
In 1940, near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings, believed to be 15,000 to 17,000 years old, were discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern.
In 1947, the Screen Actors Guild adopted a voluntary "loyaolty oath, in which members had to seear they were not members of the Communist Padrty. The oath wasn't dropped until 1974.
In 1953, six months after the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev succeeded him with his election as first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
In 1958, Little Rock High School in Arkansas was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to admit blacks.
In 1969, heavy bombing of Vietnam resumed under orders from President Nixon.
In 1974, military officers deposed Emperor Haile Selassie from the Ethiopian throne he had occupied for more than half-a-century.
In 1977, Steven Biko, leader of South Africa's "Black Consciousness Movement," died of severe head trauma on the stone floor of a prison cell in Pretoria. Six days earlier, he had suffered a major blow to his skull during a police interrogation.
In 1990, the four victorious allies of World War II and the two Germanys formally ended the war, signing a treaty that cleared way for a united Germany on Oct. 3.
In 1992, Endeavour rocketed into orbit on NASA's 50th shuttle flight, a $140 million Japanese-sponsored science mission featuring married astronauts and a menagerie of fish, frogs and other critters.
Also in 1992, tennis great Arthur Ashe, suffering from AIDS, had a heart attack following his arrest at a White House protest on U.S. policy on Haitians.
Further in 1992, actor Anthony Perkins, best known for his role of Norman Bates in "Psycho," died of AIDS. He was 60.
In 1994, a pilot crashed his small plane on the White House lawn, killing himself and creating an alarm over presidential security.
In 1999, North Korea agreed to stop testing its long-range ballistic missiles. In r esponse, the United States eased sanctions against the Communist state.
In 2001, the day after the attacks, as around-the-clock workers continued to search for survivors in the World Trade Center wreckage, President Bush was given the go-ahead by a supportive Congress to use all "necessary and appropriate force" needed against those responsible.
In 2002, President Bush told the United Nations General Assembly he would work with the U.N. Security Council to meet the challenge from Iraq but said the world must move decisively to deal with the threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Also in 2002, three former leaders of Tyco International were indicted on charges of defrauding their company of millions of dollars.
A thought for the day: Thoreau suggested that charity was valued too highly, adding, "and it is our selfishness which overrates it."