Today's Highlight in History:
On September 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
On this date:
In 1159, Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope, died.
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)
In 1894, the Great Hinckley Fire destroyed Hinckley, Minnesota, and five other communities, killing more than 400 people.
In 1914, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, "Martha," died at the Cincinnati Zoo.
In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.
In 1932, New York City Mayor James J. "Gentleman Jimmy" Walker resigned following charges of graft and corruption in his administration.
In 1942, U.S. District Court Judge Martin I. Welsh, ruling from Sacramento, California, upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans and Japanese nationals.
In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.
In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.
In 1976, U.S. Rep. Wayne L. Hays, D-Ohio, resigned in the wake of a scandal in which he admitted having an affair with "secretary" Elizabeth Ray.
In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.
In 1989, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti died of a heart attack at his summer home in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, at age 51.
Ten years ago: More than 1,000 people were taken hostage by heavily armed Chechen militants at a school in Beslan in southern Russia; more than 330 people, more than half of them children, were killed in the three-day ordeal. Militants in Iraq freed seven employees of a Kuwaiti trucking firm after their employer paid half a million dollars in ransom. The criminal case against Kobe Bryant collapsed as prosecutors in Colorado dropped a sexual assault charge against the NBA star, saying they had no choice because the accuser no longer wanted to participate.
Five years ago: Vermont's law allowing same-sex marriage went into effect. Poland held ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II. Death claimed award-winning conductor Erich Kunzel at age 74 and Wycliffe Johnson, a major figure in Jamaican music, at age 47.
One year ago: Syria derided President Barack Obama's decision to hold off on punitive military strikes, while the Obama administration countered that its case for military action against the regime of President Bashar Assad was getting stronger, saying it had evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in a deadly August attack. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left a hospital after nearly three months of treatment there. Former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison, 44, died at a Nebraska hospital.
Today's Birthdays: Former Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird is 92. Actor George Maharis is 86. Conductor Seiji Ozawa is 79. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is 76. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 75. Actor Don Stroud is 71. Conductor Leonard Slatkin is 70. Singer Archie Bell is 70. Singer Barry Gibb is 68. Rock musician Greg Errico is 66. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 64. Singer Gloria Estefan is 57. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 53. Jazz musician Boney James is 53. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 51. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 50. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 48. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 44. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 43. Rock singer JD Fortune is 41. Actor Scott Speedman is 39. Country singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 38. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 30. Actress Aisling Loftus (TV: Mr. Selfridge) 1990 is 24.
Thought for Today: "If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in person." - Ralph J. Bunche, American diplomat (1904-1971).