Today is Sunday, Sept. 14, the 258th day of 2008. There are 108 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write his poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing how Fort McHenry in Maryland had endured British bombardment during the War of 1812.

On this date:

In 1812, the Russians set fire to Moscow in the face of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte's troops.

In 1847, U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott took control of Mexico City.

In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, N.Y., of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.

In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice, France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.

In 1948, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in New York at the site of the United Nations' world headquarters.

In 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.

In 1964, Pope Paul VI opened the third session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, also known as Vatican II. (The session closed two months later.)

In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.

In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon's president-elect, Bashir Gemayel was killed by a bomb.

In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert slammed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula after forcing thousands of residents to flee.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, struggling to regain his footing from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, pledged during a speech in New York to work with America's allies to deal with the "biggest financial challenge facing the world in a half-century."

Five years ago: Swedes rejected adopting the European common currency in a referendum overshadowed by the killing of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, an ardent euro supporter. World Trade Organization talks designed to change global trade collapsed in Cancun, Mexico, amid differences between rich and poor nations. An older half-sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, Yetunde Price, was shot to death in Compton, Calif.

One year ago: Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised the possibility of cutting U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 100,000 by the end of 2008, well beyond the cuts President Bush had approved. In Iraq, some 1,500 mourners called for revenge as they buried the leader of the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida, Adbul-Sattar Abu Risha, who had been assassinated by a bomb claimed by an al-Qaida front.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Zoe Caldwell is 75. Actor Harve Presnell is 75. Feminist author Kate Millett is 74. Actor Walter Koenig is 72. Actor Nicol Williamson is 70. Singer-actress Joey Heatherton is 64. Actor Sam Neill is 61. Singer Jon "Bowser" Bauman (Sha Na Na) is 61. Rock musician Ed King is 59. Rock musician Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is 53. Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 52. Actress Mary Crosby is 49. Singer Morten Harket (a-ha) is 49. Country singer John Berry is 49. Actress Melissa Leo is 48. Actress Faith Ford is 44. Actress Michelle Stafford is 43. Rock musician Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers) is 42. Actor Dan Cortese is 40. Contemporary Christian singer Mark Hall is 39. Rock musician Craig Montoya (Tri Polar) is 38. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley is 37. Rapper Nas is 35. Country singer Danielle Peck is 30. Pop singer Ayo is 28. Singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse is 25. Actor Adam Lamberg is 24.

Thought for Today: "I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." _ Adlai E. Stevenson, American statesman (1900-1965).

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