updated 9/5/2007 12:17:25 AM ET 2007-09-05T04:17:25

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 5, the 248th day of 2007. There are 117 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Sept. 5, 1957, the novel “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, was first published by Viking Press.

On this date:
In 1774, the First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.

In 1793, the Reign of Terror began during the French Revolution as the National Convention instituted harsh measures to repress counter-revolutionary activities.

In 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1914, the first Battle of the Marne, resulting in a French-British victory over Germany, began during World War I.

In 1939, the United States proclaimed its neutrality in World War II.

In 1945, Japanese-American Iva Toguri D’Aquino, suspected of being wartime broadcaster “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested in Yokohama. (D’Aquino was later convicted of treason and served six years in prison; she was pardoned in 1977 by President Gerald Ford.)

In 1972, Arab guerrillas attacked the Israeli delegation at the Munich Olympic games; 11 Israelis, five guerrillas and a police officer were killed in the siege.

In 1975, President Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, Calif.

In 1977, West German industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer was kidnapped in Cologne by the Baader-Meinhof gang. (Schleyer was later killed by his captors.)

In 1977, the U.S. launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft two weeks after launching its twin, Voyager 2.

Ten years ago: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II broke the royal reticence over Princess Diana’s death, delivering a televised address in which she called her former daughter-in-law “a remarkable person.” Twelve Israeli soldiers were killed during a commando raid into Lebanon. Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87. Conductor Sir Georg Solti died in France at age 84.

Five years ago: Afghan President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt in Kandahar, hours after an explosives-packed car tore through a Kabul market. Actor Cliff Gorman, who had won a Tony for portraying comedian Lenny Bruce in the 1971 play “Lenny,” died in New York at age 65.

One year ago: A cook was charged with shooting and dismembering the owner of a Maine bed-and-breakfast and three other people in a Labor Day weekend killing rampage (Christian Nielsen has since pleaded not guilty to murder by reason of insanity). Felipe Calderon was declared Mexico’s president-elect after two months of uncertainty over a disputed election. Boeing executive Alan Mulally was named president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., succeeding Bill Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul A. Volcker is 80. Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 78. Actress-singer Carol Lawrence is 75. Actor William Devane is 68. Actor George Lazenby is 68. Singer John Stewart is 68. Actress Raquel Welch is 67. Movie director Werner Herzog is 65. Singer Al Stewart is 62. Actor-director Dennis Dugan is 61. Singer Loudon Wainwright III is 61. Drummer Buddy Miles is 61. “Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite is 57. Actor Michael Keaton is 56. Country musician Jamie Oldaker (The Tractors) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Terry Ellis is 41. Rock musician Brad Wilk is 39. TV personality Dweezil Zappa is 38. Actress Rose McGowan is 33. Actor Andrew Ducote is 21.

Thought for Today: “This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do.” — Jack Kerouac, American novelist (1922-1969).

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