updated 9/29/2005 12:05:40 AM ET 2005-09-29T04:05:40

Today is Thursday, Sept. 29, the 272nd day of 2005. There are 93 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 29, 1978, Pope John Paul I was found dead in his Vatican apartment just over a month after becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church.

On this date:
In 1789, the U.S. War Department established a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.

In 1829, London’s reorganized police force, which became known as Scotland Yard, went on duty.

In 1918, Allied forces scored a decisive breakthrough of the Hindenburg Line during World War I.

In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice aboard the British ship Nelson off Malta.

In 1955, a one-act version of the Arthur Miller play “A View From the Bridge” opened in New York. (Miller later turned it into a two-act play.)

In 1963, the second session of Second Vatican Council opened in Rome.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Ireland as he arrived for a three-day tour.

In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after unwittingly taking Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide.

In 1988, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., marking America’s return to manned space flight following the Challenger disaster.

In 1994, the House voted to end the age-old practice of lobbyists buying meals and entertainment for members of Congress.

Ten years ago: Calif. Gov. Pete Wilson abandoned his bid for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination. The O.J. Simpson trial was sent to the jury. Three U.S. servicemen were indicted in the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl and handed over to Japanese authorities. (They were later convicted.)

Five years ago: Israeli riot police stormed a major Jerusalem shrine and opened fire on stone-throwing Muslim worshippers, killing four Palestinians and wounding 175.

One year ago: A video surfaced showing Kenneth Bigley, a British hostage held by Iraqi militants, pleading for help between the bars of a makeshift cage. (Bigley was later killed.) The privately built SpaceShipOne rocket plane hurtled past the edge of earth’s atmosphere, completing the first stage of a quest to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Michelangelo Antonioni is 93. Actress Lizabeth Scott is 83. Actor Steve Forrest is 81. Actress Anita Ekberg is 74. Actor Eddie Barth is 74. Singer Jerry Lee Lewis is 70. Actor Ian McShane is 63. Jazz musician Jean-Luc Ponty is 63. Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland, is 62. Television-film composer Mike Post is 61. Actress Patricia Hodge is 59. TV personality Bryant Gumbel is 57. Rock singer-musician Mark Farner is 57. Rock musician Mike Pinera is 57. Country singer Alvin Crow is 55. Actor Drake Hogestyn is 52. Singer Suzzy Roche (The Roches) is 49. Actor-comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay is 47. Rock singer John Payne (Asia) is 47. Singer-musician Les Claypool is 42. Actress Jill Whelan is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Devante Swing (Jodeci) is 36. Actress Emily Lloyd is 35. Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner is 35. Actress Rachel Cronin is 34. Country musician Danick Dupelle (Emerson Drive) is 32. Country singer Katie McNeill (3 of Hearts) is 23.

Thought for Today: “If you want work well done, select a busy man — the other kind has not time.” — Elbert Hubbard, American author and publisher (1856-1915).

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