Today is Thursday, Sept. 11, the 255th day of 2008. There are 111 days left in the year. This is Patriot Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 11, 2001, in the single worst act of terrorism committed on U.S. soil, nearly 3,000 people died when two hijacked jetliners crashed into New York's World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to collapse; a commandeered jetliner smashed into the Pentagon; and a fourth hijacked plane crashed in western Pennsylvania.

On this date:

In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

In 1857, the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place in present-day southern Utah as a 120-member Arkansas immigrant party was slaughtered by Mormon settlers.

In 1941, Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, in which he said "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" were trying to draw the United States into World War II.

In 1958, responding to Communist China's artillery attacks on the Taiwan-held islands of Quemoy and Matsu, President Eisenhower said in a broadcast address the U.S. had to be prepared to fight to prevent a communist takeover of the islands.

In 1971, former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77.

In 1972, the troubled Munich Summer Olympics ended.

In 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende died in a violent military coup.

In 1974, an Eastern Airlines DC-9 crashed during a landing attempt in Charlotte, N.C., killing 72 of the people on board.

In 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian defector, died at a British hospital four days after being stabbed by a man wielding a poisoned umbrella tip.

In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds cracked career hit number 4,192 off Eric Show of the San Diego Padres, eclipsing the record held by Ty Cobb.

Ten years ago: Congress released Kenneth Starr's voluminous report that offered graphic details of President Clinton's alleged sexual misconduct and leveled accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice; the president's attorneys quickly issued a point-by-point rebuttal. Russia's fractious parliament came together and confirmed compromise candidate Yevgeny Primakov as prime minister. Divers off Nova Scotia recovered the cockpit voice recorder from Swissair Flight 111, which had crashed Sept. 2 with 229 people aboard.

Five years ago: Israel issued an ominous threat to "remove" Yasser Arafat for failing to halt suicide bombings. Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh died from stab wounds inflicted when she was attacked in a Stockholm department store a day earlier. Actor John Ritter died in Los Angeles at age 54.

One year ago: A militant group called Islamic Jihad Union claimed responsibility for foiled bombings that targeted Ramstein U.S. Air Base as well as U.S. and Uzbek consulates in Germany. A new Osama bin Laden videotape was released on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. China signed an agreement to prohibit the use of lead paint on toys exported to the United States.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Betsy Drake is 85. Actor Earl Holliman is 80. Movie director Brian De Palma is 68. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 65. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 63. Actor Phillip Alford is 60. Actress Amy Madigan is 58. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 55. Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 55. Actor Reed Birney is 54. Singer-songwriter Diane Warren is 52. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 51. Actor Scott Patterson is 50. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 50. Actress Roxann Dawson is 50. Actress Virginia Madsen is 47. Actress Kristy McNichol is 46. Musician-composer Moby is 43. Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 41. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 41. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 40. Actress Laura Wright is 38. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff (Lit) is 37. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 33. Rapper Mr. Black is 31. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 31. Rapper Ludacris is 31. Rock singer Ben Lee is 30. Actor Ryan Slattery is 30. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 27. Actor Tyler Hoechlin is 21.

Thought for Today: "There would never be a moment, in war or in peace, when I wouldn't trade all the patriots in the country for one tolerant man. Or when I wouldn't swap the vitamins in a child's lunch box for a jelly glass of magnanimity." _ E.B. White, American author and humorist (1899-1985).

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