Today is Wednesday, September 24, the 267th day of 2014. There are 98 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1568 - Spanish capture English ships at San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Sir John Hawkins' fleet.
1688 - France's King Louis XIV declares war against Holy Roman Empire, called the War of the League of Augsburg.
1789 - U.S. Congress passes the First Judiciary Act, which provides for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.
1852 - French inventor Henri Giffard makes the first flight in a powered airship, cruising with steam power over Paris.
1877 - The last of the samurai rebellions against the reinstated Japanese emperor is defeated by the new conscript armies.
1932 - The Poona Pact between Hindu religious leaders, forced by Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strike, gives new electoral rights to low-caste "untouchables" in India.
1943 - Soviet army crosses Dnieper River north of Kiev as Germans retreat in World War II.
1948 - First conference in London of representatives from Britain's African colonies; Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist "Axis Sally," pleads innocent in Washington to charges of treason. She ends up serving 12 years in prison.
1966 - Mob ransacks and burns Portuguese embassy in Leopoldville in the Congo.
1969 - The Chicago Seven trial begins. Five of the defendants are convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The convictions are later overturned.
1971 - Britain expels 90 Soviets for espionage activities.
1976 - Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery with members of a militant group who had earlier kidnapped her. She is granted clemency by U.S. President Jimmy Carter and released after 22 months.
1982 - The U.S. government lifts the military sanctions that it had imposed on Argentina during the war with Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.
1987 - Armed forces seize control of Transkei, one of South Africa's black homelands, ousting the prime minister.
1990 - Iraq declares the Kuwaiti dinar invalid and withdraws it from circulation; Soviet lawmakers endorse plan calling for market economy; East Germany formally withdraws from Warsaw Pact.
1991 - Iraq provokes international outrage over its resistance to efforts to dismantle its arms program when Iraqi troops detain a team of United Nations weapons inspectors in Baghdad.
1993 - Nelson Mandela asks the world community to lift economic and diplomatic sanctions against South Africa.
1994 - A report prepared by the CIA reveals confessed spy Aldrich H. Ames exposed 55 clandestine U.S. and allied operations to the Soviet Union and Russia.
1995 - After all-night talks, Israel and the PLO agree to sign a pact at the White House ending nearly three decades of Israeli occupation of West Bank cities.
1996 - The United States and the world's major nuclear powers sign a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. India objects.
1998 - Iran says it is distancing itself from the reward offered for the killing of author Salman Rushdie, and is ready to exchange ambassadors with Britain.
1999 - Deadly Typhoon Bart, packing winds of 108 kph (67 mph), threatens the tip of Hokkaido island after lashing Japan with rains and winds that kill at least 26 people and injure hundreds as it floods more than 4,000 homes, sets off 245 landslides and downs power lines.
2000 - After the bloodiest summer in recent years, tens of thousands of people, including dozens injured by Basque separatists and relatives of those killed, pack the streets of San Sebastian in northern Spain to demand an end to violence.
2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush issues an order instructing U.S. financial institutions to freeze the assets of 27 groups and individuals suspected of supporting terrorists.
2002 - Two gunmen attack a Hindu temple complex in Gandhinagar, the capital of western Gujarat state, killing at least 30 people and wounding 74 before being killed by commandos.
2004 - Kidnappers seize six Egyptians in Iraq in separate incidents, while the British Embassy in Baghdad hands out leaflets carrying a message from the family of a Briton kidnapped earlier.
2005 - Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surge past the White House, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. Police estimate around 100,000 protesters.
2006 - Swiss voters ratify new asylum and immigration laws that make it more difficult for refugees to receive assistance and effectively block non-European unskilled workers from entering the country.
2007 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questions the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks and defends the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance at Columbia University in New York.
2008 - Japan's lawmakers elect Taro Aso, leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as prime minister.
2009 - For the first time, an experimental vaccine prevents infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result for many scientists who thought previous failures meant such a vaccine might never be possible.
2010 - Nigerian authorities open the gates at two swollen dams in the country's rain-soaked north, sending a flood into a neighboring state that displaces 2 million people.
2011 - In one of the bloodiest days of Yemen's uprising, government troops backed by snipers and shelling attack a square full of Yemeni protesters and battle with pro-opposition forces in the capital, killing at least 40 people.
2012 - A European court rules that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaida training camp in the western state of Oregon.
2013 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his nation is prepared to immediately engage in stalled negotiations over its disputed nuclear program -- but only under certain conditions.
Albrecht von Wallenstein, Bohemian soldier (1583-1634); Horace Walpole, British writer (1717-1797); F. Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. writer (1896-1940); Sir William Dobell, Australian artist (1899-1970); Jim Henson, U.S. puppeteer (1936-1990); Jim McKay, U.S. sportscaster (1921-2008); Anthony Newley, British actor-singer (1931-1999); Nia Vardalos, American-Canadian actress-writer (1962--).
Thought For Today:
Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear -- Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher (1632-1677).