updated 9/6/2006 12:04:32 AM ET 2006-09-06T04:04:32

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 6, the 249th day of 2006. There are 116 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. McKinley died eight days later; he was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

On this date:
In 1837, the Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio went co-educational.

In 1909, American explorer Robert Peary sent word that he had reached the North Pole five months earlier.

In 1916, the first self-serve grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tenn., by Clarence Saunders. (The store was set up to allow customers to hand-pick their groceries, rather than request them from a clerk standing behind a counter.)

In 1939, South Africa declared war on Germany.

In 1941, Jews over the age of 6 in German-occupied areas were ordered to wear yellow Stars of David.

In 1948, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was coronated.

In 1952, Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal.

In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was stabbed to death by a deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.

In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three jetliners which were later blown up on the ground in Jordan after the passengers and crews were evacuated.

In 1997, Britain bade farewell to Princess Diana with a funeral service at Westminster Abbey. Weeping masses gathered in Calcutta, India, to pay homage to Mother Teresa, who had died the day before at age 87.

Ten years ago: The death toll from Hurricane Fran rose to 17 in Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

Five years ago: In a dramatic shift, the Bush administration abandoned the Clinton-era effort to break up Microsoft. Mexican President Vicente Fox addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress, urging greater trust between the neighboring countries as the basis for “a new partnership in North America.” Barry Bonds became the fifth player in baseball history to hit 60 home runs in a season, connecting in the second inning of San Francisco’s game against Arizona. The NFL referees’ union rejected the league’s latest contract offer (replacement officials worked the opening weekend of the regular season).

One year ago: The California Legislature became the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriages, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later vetoed the bill. President Bush and Congress pledged to open separate investigations into the sluggish federal response to Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans’ broken levees.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian JoAnne Worley is 69. Country singer David Allen Coe is 67. Country singer Mel McDaniel is 64. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 63. Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 62. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 59. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 54. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 49. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 48. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 48. Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 46. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 45. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 45. Rock musician Kevin Miller is 44. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 44. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 43. Actress Rosie Perez is 42. Singer CeCe Peniston is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Macy Gray is 36. Rock singer Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) is 35. Actor Justin Whalin is 32. Actress Naomie Harris is 30. Rapper Noreaga is 29. Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 32. Rapper Foxy Brown is 27.

Thought for Today: “The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.” — Ernest Dimnet, French priest, lecturer and author (1866-1954).

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