Today is Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 275th day of 2008. There are 91 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

One hundred years ago, on Oct. 1, 1908, Henry Ford introduced his Model T automobile to the market.

On this date:

In 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.

In 1918, Damascus fell to Arab forces as Turkish Ottoman officials surrendered the city.

In 1936, Gen. Francisco Franco was proclaimed the head of an insurgent Spanish state.

In 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China during a ceremony in Beijing.

In 1958, the American Express charge card made its official debut.

In 1964, the Free Speech Movement was launched at the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1968, the Senate refused to shut down a filibuster against President Lyndon B. Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas to be U.S. chief justice. (Fortas withdrew the next day).

In 1968, the cult horror movie "Night of the Living Dead" had its world premiere in Pittsburgh.

In 1971, Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Fla.

In 1987, eight people were killed when an earthquake measuring magnitude 5.9 struck the Los Angeles area.

Ten years ago: Seeking to head off threatened NATO attacks, Yugoslavia's Serb leadership invited foreign experts to investigate massacres in Kosovo.

Five years ago: The United States took over the monthlong presidency of the U.N. Security Council at a time when it was campaigning for approval of a new resolution aimed at getting more countries to contribute troops and money to Iraq. Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh resigned from his ESPN sports job after stirring controversy by suggesting Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

One year ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a surprise announcement, opened the door to becoming the country's prime minister. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.92 points to 14,087.55, surpassing a mid-July closing record of 14,000.41. Olympic gold-medal discus thrower Al Oerter died in Fort Myers, Fla., at age 71.

Today's Birthdays: Actor James Whitmore is 87. Former President Jimmy Carter is 84. Pianist Roger Williams is 84. Actor Tom Bosley is 81. Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 73. Rock musician Jerry Martini (Sly and the Family Stone) is 65. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew is 63. Jazz musician Dave Holland is 62. Actor Stephen Collins is 61. Actor Randy Quaid is 58. Actress Yvette Freeman is 51. Singer Youssou N'Dour is 49. Actor Esai Morales is 46. Baseball player Mark McGwire is 45. Actor Christopher Titus is 44. Actress-model Cindy Margolis is 43. Rock singer-musician Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra) is 40. Singer Keith Duffy is 34. Actress Jurnee Smollett is 22. Actress Brie Larson is 19.

Thought for Today: "Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real." _ Jules Verne, French author (1828-1905).