updated 9/1/2006 12:03:01 AM ET 2006-09-01T04:03:01

Today is Friday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2006. There are 121 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

On this date:
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found innocent of treason.

In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan entered Confederation as the eighth and ninth provinces of Canada.

In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 150,000 lives.

In 1932, New York City Mayor James J. “Gentleman Jimmy” Walker resigned following charges of graft and corruption in his administration.

In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.

In 1961, the Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic testing with an aboveground nuclear explosion in central Asia.

In 1972, American Bobby Fischer won the international chess crown in Reykjavik, Iceland, defeating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union.

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 1981, Albert Speer, a close associate of Adolf Hitler who ran the Nazi war machine, died at a London hospital at age 76.

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.

Ten years ago: A day after Iraqi forces moved into a Kurdish safe haven, U.S. officials were warning the Baghdad government that the incursion would not go unpunished. That same day, Iraq ordered its troops to withdraw from Irbil.

Five years ago: An explosion and fire at a gambling parlor in Tokyo killed 44 people. The Los Angeles Sparks won the WNBA championship, defeating the Charlotte Sting 82-54.

One year ago: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued “a desperate SOS” as anger mounted across the ruined city, with thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims increasingly hungry, desperate and tired of waiting for buses to take them out. Al-Qaida’s No. 2 made the terror group’s first direct claim of responsibility for the July 7 bombings in London in a videotape.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird is 84. Actress Yvonne De Carlo is 84. Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards is 73. Conductor Seiji Ozawa is 71. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 67. Actor Don Stroud is 63. Singer Archie Bell is 62. Rock musician Greg Errico is 60. Singer Barry Gibb is 60. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 56. Singer Gloria Estefan is 49. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 45. Jazz musician Boney James is 45. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 43. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 42. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 36. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”) is 35. Rock singer JD Fortune (INXS) is 33. Actor Scott Speedman is 31.

Thought for Today: “There are no warlike peoples — just warlike leaders.” — Ralph J. Bunche, American diplomat (1904-1971).

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