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Today in history: September 1

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2005. 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 1878, Emma M. Nutt became the first female telephone operator in the United States, for the Telephone Despatch Co. of Boston.

In 1905, 100 years ago, 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 1945, Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was September 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)

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 above-ground 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 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 ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Five years ago: President Clinton deferred a decision on whether to develop a missile defense system to his successor.

One year ago: More than 1,000 people were taken hostage by heavily armed Chechen militants at a school in Beslan in southern Russia; more than 330, mostly children, were eventually killed in the three-day ordeal. Militants in Iraq freed seven employees of a Kuwaiti trucking firm after their employer paid $500,000 in ransom. The criminal case against Kobe Bryant case collapsed as prosecutors in Colorado dropped a sexual assault charge against the NBA star.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird is 83. Actress Yvonne De Carlo is 83. Former Texas Governor Ann Richards is 72. Conductor Seiji Ozawa is 70. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 66. Actor Don Stroud is 62. Singer Archie Bell is 61. Rock musician Greg Errico is 59. Singer Barry Gibb is 59. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 55. Singer Gloria Estefan is 48. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 44. Jazz musician Boney James is 44. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 42. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 41. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 35. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”) is 34. Actor Scott Speedman is 30.

Thought for Today: “Nothing succeeds, they say, like success. And certainly nothing fails like failure.” — Margaret Drabble, British author.