Today is Monday, Sept. 8, the 252nd day of 2008. There are 114 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 8, 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.

On this date:

In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Fla.

In 1664, the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York.

In 1930, the comic strip "Blondie," created by Chic Young, was first published.

In 1934, 134 people lost their lives in a fire aboard the liner Morro Castle off the New Jersey coast.

In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.

In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.

In 1974, President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Nixon.

In 1975, Boston's public schools began court-ordered citywide busing to achieve racial desegregation amid scattered incidents of violence.

In 1988, two nuclear-missile rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas; they were the first U.S. weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.

In 1994, a USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.

Ten years ago: Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals broke major league baseball's record for home runs in a single season, hitting number 62 off Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel and eclipsing the 37-year-old record held by Roger Maris.

Five years ago: The Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry's largest trade group, filed 261 copyright lawsuits across the country against Internet users for trading songs online. Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl died in Poecking, Germany, at age 101.

One year ago: Sheriff's deputies in Logan County, W. Va., rescued Megan Williams, a 20-year-old black woman, from a house in Big Creek, where she'd endured what authorities described as days of torture. (Six whites later pleaded guilty to various charges; a seventh is awaiting trial.) Top-ranked Justine Henin overwhelmed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 to win her second U.S. Open women's title and seventh Grand Slam championship.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian Sid Caesar is 86. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 68. Actor Alan Feinstein is 67. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 66. Author Ann Beattie is 61. Cajun singer Zachary Richard is 58. Musician Will Lee ("Late Show with David Letterman") is 56. Actress Heather Thomas is 51. Singer Aimee Mann is 48. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 48. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 44. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech is 43. Alternative country singer Neko Case is 38. TV personality Brooke Burke is 37. Actor Martin Freeman is 37. Actor Henry Thomas is 37. Actor David Arquette is 37. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 33. Actor Larenz Tate is 33. Actor Nathan Corddry is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 29. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 27.

Thought for Today: "That pestilent cosmetic, rhetoric." _ T.H. Huxley, English biologist and author (1825-1895).

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