Today is Friday, Sept. 26, the 269th day of 2003 with 96 to follow.
The moon is new. 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 Virgo. They include frontier nurseryman Johnny Appleseed Chapman in 1774; poet T.S. Eliot in 1888; German philosopher Martin Heidegger in 1889; actor George Raft in 1895; Pope Paul VI in 1897; composer George Gershwin in 1898; bandleader Ted Weems in 1901; country singers Marty Robbins in 1925 and Lynn Anderson in 1947 (age 56); actress Mary Beth Hurt and singer Olivia Newton-John, both in 1948 (age 55); actresses Linda Hamilton in 1957 (age 46) and Melissa Sue Anderson in 1962 (age 41); and tennis player Serena Williams in 1981 (age 22).
On this date in history:
In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia.
In 1950, U.N. troops took the South Korean capital of Seoul from North Korean forces.
In 1983, the yacht Australia II won the America's Cup from the United States, ending the longest winning streak in sports -- 132 years.
In 1984, China and Britain initialed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese control when Britain's lease expires in 1997.
In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America, under pressure from legitimate filmmakers, adopted the "NC-17" rating -- no children under 17 allowed -- to replace the "X" rating exploited by the porn industry.
In 1991, four men and four women entered the huge, airtight greenhouse Biosphere II in Arizona. They remained inside for two years, emerging again on this date in 1993.
In 1992, retired Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian presided over a fifth physician-assisted suicide.
Also in 1992, pop singer Gloria Estefan and a cavalcade of musicians and comedians raised $1.3 million at a hurricane relief concert in Miami.
In 1994, the double murder trial of football legend O.J. Simpson began in Los Angeles. He would be acquitted.
Also in 1994, Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell abandoned his effort to get a health-care reform bill through the Senate that year.
In 1996, the shuttle Atlantis landed, bringing astronaut Shannon Lucid back to Earth. Her six-month tour aboard the Mir space station set a world record for a woman in space, as well as a record stay for any American astronaut.
A thought for the day: poet T.S. Eliot said, "There never was a time when those that read at all, read so many more books by living authors than books by dead authors; there never was a time so completely parochial, so shut off from the past."