Today is Sunday, Sept. 9, the 253rd day of 2012 with 113 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus. Evening stars are Neptune, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include the Cardinal-duc de Richelieu, French statesman and Roman Catholic cardinal, in 1585; British Capt. William Bligh, of the HMS Bounty, in 1754; Russian author Leo Tolstoy in 1828; baseball Hall of Fame member Frank Chance in 1876; Alf Landon, the Kansas Republican who lost the 1936 presidential election to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1887; Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harland Sanders in 1890; movie composer Arthur Freed in 1894; oddsmaker Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder in 1918; philanthropist Robert Wood Johnson III in 1920; actor Cliff Robertson in 1923 ; rhythm and blues singer Otis Redding in 1941; football Hall of Fame member Joe Theismann in 1949 (age 63); actors Tom Wopat in 1951 (age 61), Angela Cartwright in 1952 (age 60), Hugh Grant in 1960 (age 52), Adam Sandler in 1966 (age 46), Rachel Hunter in 1969 (age 43), Henry Thomas ("E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial") in 1971 (age 41) and Goran Visnjic in 1972 (age 40); singer Michael Buble in 1975 (age 37); and rapper Soulja Slim in 1977.
On this date in history:
In 1776, the second Continental Congress officially changed the new American nation's name from "United Colonies" to "United States."
In 1850, California became the 31st state.
In 1956, rock 'n' roll singer Elvis Presley appeared on national television for the first time, on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
In 1971, more than 1,000 convicts took over the state prison at Attica, N.Y. and held 35 convicts hostage. Four days later, 28 convicts and nine hostages were killed as state police reclaimed the prison.
In 1976, Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong died at age 82.
In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in a quickly arranged summit in Helsinki, Finland, to present a united front against Iraq.
Also in 1990, Liberian President Samuel Doe was killed by rebels after visiting the headquarters of West African peacekeeping forces in Monrovia.
In 1993, in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security. In turn, Rabin declared the PLO the representative of the Palestinian people.
In 1994, the United States and Cuba reached an agreement aimed at discouraging Cubans from trying to flee to the United States by rafts or other vessels.
In 1998, independent counsel Kenneth Starr sent the U.S. House of Representatives his report on his investigation into U.S. President Bill Clinton. He said it contained "substantial and credible information ... that may constitute grounds" for impeachment.
In 1999, more than 90 people died in the bombing of a Moscow apartment building. The blast was blamed on militants from the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
In 2001 sports, Venus Williams defeated her sister Serena for the U.S. Open tennis championship, 6-2, 6-4, the first time since 1884 that sisters had met in a Grand Slam finale.
In 2003, The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston and lawyers for about 550 victims of sexual abuse by priests reached an agreement that could run as high as $85 million.
In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush urged the United Nations and the international community to put a stop to the violence in Sudan where reported genocide in the Darfur region led to the deaths of an estimated 50,000 people over the past 18 months.
In 2005, Michael Brown, the embattled director of FEMA, roundly criticized for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina, was replaced as hurricane relief coordinator by U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen.
In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush said some 8,000 U.S. troops would be returning home from Iraq without replacement during the next several months. Bush also announced additional troops will be deployed in Afghanistan.
Also in 2008, Prime Minister of Thailand Samak Sundaravej was ousted for moonlighting as a paid performer on a TV cooking show.
In 2009, more than 30 people were killed when fast-moving floods caused by heavy rain in Turkey swept through Istanbul.
In 2010, a federal judge in California that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevented homosexuals from serving openly in the U.S. armed services was unconstitutional.
Also in 2010, U.S. Marines raided the Magellan Star, a hijacked German-owned vessel, in the Gulf of Aden and retook the ship from Somali pirates.
In 2011, thousands of protesters attacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, touching off a violent confrontation with police and prompting Israel to evacuate its diplomats from Egypt.
Also in 2011, rescue workers searched for 10 men who disappeared from a Mexican oil rig damaged by Tropical Storm Nate in the Gulf of Mexico.
A thought for the day: former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca said, "A country's competitiveness starts not on the factory floor or in the engineering lab. It starts in the classroom."