Today is Friday, Sept. 12, the 256th day of 2008. There are 110 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 12, 1958, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Cooper v. Aaron, unanimously ruled that Arkansas officials who were resisting public school desegregation orders could not disregard the high court's rulings.

On this date:

In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name.

In 1918, during World War I, U.S. forces led by Gen. John J. Pershing launched a successful attack on the German-occupied St. Mihiel salient north of Verdun, France.

In 1938, Adolf Hitler demanded the right of self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

In 1943, German paratroopers took Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he was being held by the Italian government.

In 1953, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Newport, R.I.

In 1958, the science-fiction movie "The Blob," starring Steve McQueen _ billed as "Steven" _ was released.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed questions about his Roman Catholic faith, telling a Southern Baptist group in Houston, "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me."

In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by Ethiopia's military after ruling for 58 years.

In 1977, South African black student leader Steven Biko died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.

In 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off, carrying with it Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space; Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space; and Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly on a U.S. spaceship.

Ten years ago: The White House responded to Kenneth Starr's graphic report on President Clinton by calling it a "hit-and-run smear campaign." Leaders of striking pilots at Northwest Airlines ratified a new contract, ending a walkout that began Aug. 28. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the fourth player in major league baseball history to reach 60 homers in a single season. Lindsay Davenport won the U.S. Open, defeating defending champion Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-5.

Five years ago: In the Iraqi city of Fallujah, U.S. forces mistakenly opened fire on vehicles carrying police, killing eight of them. The U.N. Security Council ended 11 years of sanctions against Libya. Typhoon Maemi slammed into South Korea, killing at least 117 people. Music legend Johnny Cash died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 71.

One year ago: Oil prices briefly topped a record $80 a barrel. Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced long-serving Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with an obscure Cabinet official, Viktor Zubkov. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Irene Dailey is 88. Actor Dickie Moore ("Our Gang") is 83. Actor Freddie Jones is 81. Country singer George Jones is 77. Actor Ian Holm is 77. Actress Linda Gray is 68. Singer Maria Muldaur is 65. Actor Joe Pantoliano is 57. Singer-musician Gerry Beckley (America) is 56. Rock musician Neil Peart (Rush) is 56. Actor Peter Scolari is 53. Actress Rachel Ward is 51. Actress Amy Yasbeck is 46. Rock musician Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) is 43. Actor Darren E. Burrows is 42. Rock singer-musician Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five) is 42. Rock musician Larry LaLonde (Primus) is 40. Actor Josh Hopkins is 38. Actor Paul Walker is 35. Country singer Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) is 34. Actor Benjamin McKenzie is 30. Singer Ruben Studdard is 30. Basketball player Yao Ming is 28. Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson is 27. Actress Emmy Rossum is 22.

Thought for Today: "Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility." _ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American feminist (1815-1902).

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