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Today in history: September 30

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

Today is Friday, Sept. 30, the 273rd day of 2005. There are 92 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Sept. 30, 1955, actor James Dean, 24, was killed in a two-car collision near Cholame, Calif.

On this date:
In 1777, the Congress of the United States — forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces — moved to York, Pa.

In 1791, Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” premiered in Vienna, Austria.

In 1846, dentist William Morton used ether as an anesthetic for the first time on a patient in his Boston office.

In 1905, 100 years ago, British director Michael Powell (“The Red Shoes”) was born in Bekesbourne, Kent, England.

In 1938, British, French, German and Italian leaders decided to appease Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.

In 1946, an international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes.

In 1949, the Berlin Airlift came to an end.

In 1954, the first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine Nautilus, was commissioned by the Navy.

In 1962, black student James Meredith succeeded on his fourth try in registering for classes at the University of Mississippi.

In 1993, an estimated 10,000 people were killed when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.4 struck southern India.

Ten years ago: U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, trying to negotiate a Bosnian cease-fire, ended inconclusive talks with the Sarajevo government and headed for Belgrade to try his luck with the Serbs.

Five years ago: A Catholic priest crashed his car into a building housing an abortion clinic in Rockford, Ill., and attacked it with an ax. (The Rev. John Earl later pleaded guilty to damaging property, and was sentenced to 30 months’ probation and two days in county jail.) In Sydney, Australia, Marion Jones won Olympic gold in the U.S. women’s 1,600-meter relay and bronze with the 400-meter squad — making her the only woman to win five track medals at one Olympics.

One year ago: President Bush and Sen. John Kerry met in their first debate, with Kerry charging Americans had been left with “this incredible mess in Iraq” and Bush saying U.S. troops look at the Democratic challenger and wonder, “How can I follow this guy?” The House followed the Senate in decisively rejecting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Bombs killed some three dozen children in Baghdad as U.S. troops handed out candy at a government-sponsored celebration. Vioxx, the heavily promoted arthritis drug, was pulled from the market by its maker after a study found it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Deborah Kerr is 84. Actress Angie Dickinson is 74. Singer Cissy Houston is 72. Singer Johnny Mathis is 70. Actor Len Cariou is 66. Rock singer-musician Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield) is 63. Singer Marilyn McCoo is 62. Pop singer Sylvia Peterson (The Chiffons) is 59. Rock musician John Lombardo is 53. Singer Deborah Allen is 52. Actor Calvin Levels is 51. Actor Barry Williams is 51. Singer Patrice Rushen is 51. Actor Vondie Curtis-Hall is 49. Actress Fran Drescher is 48. Country singer Marty Stuart is 47. Actress Debrah Farentino is 46. Rock musician Bill Rieflin (R.E.M.) is 45. Actress Crystal Bernard is 44. Actor Eric Stoltz is 44. Rapper-producer Marley Marl is 43. Country singer Eddie Montgomery (Montgomery-Gentry) is 42. Rock singer Trey Anastasio is 41. Rock musician Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls) is 41. Actress Lisa Thornhill is 39. Actress Monica Bellucci is 37. Actress Jenna Elfman is 34. Actor Ashley Hamilton is 31. Actor Mike Damus is 26. Tennis player Martina Hingis is 25. Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu is 24. Actress Lacey Chabert is 23. Actor Kieran Culkin is 23.

Thought for Today: “Where apathy is master, all men are slaves.” — Anonymous.