Today is Wednesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2015 with 106 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mercury, Neptune and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include England's King Henry V in 1386; historian Francis Parkman in 1823; railroad magnate James Jerome "J.J." Hill in 1838; department store founder James Cash Penney in 1875; artist Jean Arp in 1886; British car designer Walter Bentley in 1888; children's author/creator of "Curious George" H.A. Rey in 1898; entertainer Allen Funt in 1914; writer Laurence J. Peter in 1919; actor Lauren Bacall in 1924; blues musician B.B. King in 1925; actor Peter Falk in 1927; actor Jack Kelly in 1927; actor Anne Francis in 1930; basketball Hall of Fame member Elgin Baylor in 1934 (age 81); actor Susan Ruttan in 1948 (age 67); musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces, Faces) in 1948 (age 67); actor Ed Begley Jr. in 1949 (age 66); actor Mickey Rourke in 1952 (age 63); baseball Hall of Fame member Robin Yount in 1955 (age 60); magician David Copperfield in 1956 (age 59); actor/poker player Jennifer Tilly in 1958 (age 57); comedian Molly Shannon in 1964 (age 51); singer/actor Marc Anthony in 1968 (age 47); comedian Amy Poehler in 1971 (age 44);Jonas Brothers band member Nick Jonas in 1992 (age 23).
On this date in history:
In 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers, bound for America.
In 1810, Mexico began its war of independence against Spain.
In 1974, U.S. President Gerald Ford offered conditional amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders. He said they could return to the United States if they performed up to two years of public service.
In 1977, celebrated soprano Maria Callas died in Paris at the age of 53.
In 1982 Lebanese Christian militiamen entered two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut, Lebanon, and began what became known as the Sabra and Shatila massacre. (Hundreds of people were killed in the three-day rampage.)
In 1986, fire and fumes in the Kinross mine killed 177 people in South Africa's worst gold mine disaster.
In 1994, a U.S. federal court jury in Anchorage, Alaska, ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion to the fishermen and natives whose lives were affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. There had never been a larger award in a pollution case.
In 1999, Congress doubled the U.S. presidential salary, from $200,000 a year to $400,000, effective in 2001.
In 2007, former NFL running back/actor O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy in a Las Vegas armed robbery. (He was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.)
In 2008, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw the surge of troops into Iraq, was chosen to become commander of the U.S. Central Command that covered all of the Middle East. He was succeeded in Iraq by U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno.
In 2009, the U.S. House voted to officially rebuke Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., for yelling, "You lie!" at U.S. President Barack Obama during a speech on healthcare reform.
In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2009 reached a 15-year high of 14.3 percent -- about 43.67 million people -- up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, a year earlier. The poverty level represented $10,830 in pretax cash income for a single adult and $22,050 for a family of four.
In 2011, a vintage P-51 Mustang fighter plane crashed into a crowd of onlookers at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nev., killing 11 people, including the 74-year-old pilot, Jimmy Leeward, and injuring about 75 others.
In 2012, the Occupy Wall Street protest marked its first anniversary with a noisy outburst in New York's Lower Manhattan.
In 2013, a gunman identified as Aaron Alexis of Texas killed 12 people and wounded four at the Washington Navy Yard before he was shot to death by a U.S. Park Police officer. (The FBI later said Alexis had written that he was under the control of "ultra low-frequency" electromagnetic waves and "to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this.")
In 2014, NASA awarded contracts totaling $6.8 billion for Boeing and SpaceX to build "space taxis" that can carry astronauts to the International Space Station starting in 2017.
A thought for the day: "Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people." -- Martina Navratilova