updated 9/9/2005 12:08:10 AM ET 2005-09-09T04:08:10

Today is Friday, Sept. 9, the 252nd day of 2005. There are 113 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress made the term “United States” official, replacing “United Colonies.”

On this date:
In 1830, Charles Durant flew a balloon from New York City across the Hudson River to Perth Amboy, N.J.

In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.

In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co. was created by the Radio Corporation of America.

In 1943, Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War II.

In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was created.

In 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.

In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.

In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at age 82.

In 1993, PLO leaders and Israel agreed to recognize each other, clearing the way for a peace accord.

In 1997, Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland’s future.

Ten years ago: Bosnian Serbs blamed U.N. forces for a shell that killed 10 people at a Bosnian Serb hospital the day before. Amtrak’s Broadway Limited service between New York and Chicago made its final run.

Five years ago: President Clinton proposed spending about $1.6 billion to help communities recover from recent Western wildfires. Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 7-5 for the U.S. Open women’s singles championship, her first Grand Slam title.

One year ago: Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that abuses by government-supported Arab militias in Sudan qualified as genocide against the black African population in the Darfur region. A powerful car bomb exploded outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 10 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Cliff Robertson is 80. Actress Sylvia Miles is 73. Actor Topol is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 63. Singer Inez Foxx is 63. Singer Dee Dee Sharp is 60. Singer-musician Billy Preston is 59. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 59. Country singer Freddy Weller is 58. Football commentator Joe Theismann is 56. Actor Tom Wopat is 54. Actress Angela Cartwright is 53. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 53. Actor Hugh Grant is 45. Actor Adam Sandler is 39. Actor David Bennent is 39. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 37. Rapper Dray (Das EFX) is 35. Actor Goran Visnjic is 33. Actress Michelle Williams is 25.

Thought for Today: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” — Hannah More, English author and social reformer (1745-1833).

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