Today is Monday, Sept. 29, the 273rd day of 2008 with 93 to follow.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown.
The moon is new. The morning star is Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Venus, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Spanish poet-novelist Miguel de Cervantes, author of "Don Quixote," in 1547; British naval hero Adm. Horatio Nelson in 1758; pioneer nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi in 1901; singing movie cowboy Gene Autry in 1907; film directors Michelangelo Antonioni in 1912 and Stanley Kramer in 1913; actor Trevor Howard in 1913; actress Anita Ekberg in 1931 (age 77); rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in 1935 (age 73); actor Larry Linville ("M*A*S*H") in 1939; singer/actress Madeline Kahn in 1942; Polish leader Lech Walesa in 1943 (age 65); and TV personality Bryant Gumbel in 1948 (age 60).
On this date in history:
In 1789, the U.S. War Department organized the United States' first standing army -- 700 troops who would serve for three years.
In 1923, Britain began to govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.
In 1936, in the presidential race between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alf Landon, both parties used radio for the first time.
In 1941, the Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children began on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
In 1986, the Soviet Union freed U.S. journalist Nicholas Daniloff, whom Moscow accused of spying.
In 1992, after weeks of stalemate, U.S. President George H.W. Bush, seeking re-election, challenged his Democratic opponent, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, to four debates.
Also in 1992, Brazil's President Collor became the first Latin American leader to be impeached.
And in 1992, Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced he was returning to the Los Angeles Lakers less than a year after he retired because he had the AIDS virus.
In 2003, a published report said the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that most of the information provided by Iraqi defectors was worthless.
Also in 2003, electricity was restored in Italy after a weekend blackout put 57 million people in the dark.
In 2004, a Saudi suspected of being an associate of Osama bin Laden and a Yemeni militant were sentenced to death for the bombing of the USS Cole in which 17 U.S. sailors were killed four years earlier.
Also in 2004, TV icon Martha Stewart was ordered to serve her five-month prison sentence for obstructing justice at a prison camp for women in Alderson, W.Va.
In 2005, John Roberts Jr. easily won confirmation by the U.S. Senate to become chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was sworn in later that day, succeeding the late William Rehnquist.
Also in 2005, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in his state.
In 2006, U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned in the wake of revelations he sent inappropriate e-mail messages to an underage former Capitol Hill page.
Also in 2006, the U.S. Congress approved President George Bush's plan for the interrogations and military trials of suspected terrorists.
In 2007, hundreds of rebels attacked an African Union base in Haskanita, a town in the Darfur region of Sudan, and reportedly killed at least 10 peacekeeping troops.
Also in 2007, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a bus that killed at least 27 Afghan soldiers and injured 21 more in Kabul.
A thought for the day: British statesman Edmund Burke said, "Superstition is the religion of feeble minds."