Today is Thursday, Sept. 30, the 274th day of 2004 with 92 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. The evening stars are Pluto, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include German physicist Hans Geiger, co-inventor of the Geiger counter, in 1882; film director Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet on the Western Front") in 1895; singer Kenny Baker in 1912; former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox in 1915; drummer Buddy Rich in 1919; novelist Truman Capote in 1924; actresses Deborah Kerr in 1921 (age 83) and Angie Dickinson in 1931 (age 73); singers Johnny Mathis in 1935 (age 69) and Marilyn McCoo in 1943 (age 61); singer Frankie Lymon in 1942; actress Victoria Tennant in 1953 (age 51); actor Eric Stoltz in 1961 (age 43); actress/singer Crystal Bernard in 1964 (age 40); and actresses Fran Drescher ("The Nanny") in 1957 (age 47) and Jenna Elfman ("Dharma and Greg") in 1971 (age 33), and tennis star Martina Hingis in 1980 (age 24).
On this date in history:
In 1452, the first section of the Guttenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, was published in Germany.
In 1630, John Billington, one of the first pilgrims to land in America was hanged for murder -- becoming the first criminal to be executed in the American colonies.
In 1846, a dentist in Charleston, Mass., extracted a tooth with the aid of an anesthetic -- ether. It was the first time an anesthetic had been used.
In 1938, Germany, France, Britain and Italy met in Munich, Germany, for a conference after which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain predicted "peace for our time." But, World War II began less than one year later.
In 1946, the verdicts were handed down in the Nuremberg war crimes trial. Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death by hanging. In 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, was commissioned by the Navy.
In 1955, movie idol James Dean died in a car crash at age 24.
In 1962, James H. Meredith, an African-American, was escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. Marshals, setting off a deadly riot during which two men were killed before the racial violence was quelled by more than 3,000 soldiers. Meredith enrolled the next day.
In 1977, President Carter proclaimed October to be Country Music Month.
In 1991, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup.
In 1992, the United States returned most of the Subic Bay Naval Base to the Philippine government after more than a century of use.
Also in 1992, Congress approved a bill requiring the release of nearly all government files concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.
In 1993, the U.S. Treasury Dept. issued a report sharply criticizing top officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for their handling of the February raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
In 1999, an accident at a nuclear power plant 70 miles northeast of Tokyo released high levels of radiation in Japan's worst-ever nuclear accident.
Also in 1999, Russia sent troops into the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
By this date in 2001, about 500 people in the U.S. and elsewhere had been arrested or detained in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In 2003, the Justice Department opened an investigation into the leaking of the name of a CIA operative to the media and charges that the name was divulged in an effort to discredit the agent's husband, a prominent critic of President Bush's Iraq policy. The White House pledged cooperation in the inquiry.
Also in 2003, three persons working at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, including a Muslim chaplain, were arrested on espionage charges.
A thought for the day: Spanish nun, mystic and reformer St. Theresa said, "Whenever conscience commands anything, there is only one thing to fear and that is fear."