Today is Wednesday, Sept. 8, the 252nd day of 2004. 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 about 6,000 people.

On this date:

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

In 1921, Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., was crowned the first Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J.

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

In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, "The Kingfish" of Louisiana politics, was shot and mortally wounded; he died two days later.

In 1944, Nazi Germany fired the first of its V2 rockets, which were faster and more powerful than the V1, into London during World War II.

In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco.

In 1952, the Ernest Hemingway novel "The Old Man and the Sea" was published.

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

In 1981, Roy Wilkins, former head of the NAACP, died in New York at age 80.

In 1998, Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals broke major league baseball's record for home runs in a single season, hitting 62 off Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel.

Ten years ago: A USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.

Five years ago: Former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley officially kicked off his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination with a rally in his hometown of Crystal City, Mo. Economist Herbert Stein, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Nixon administration, died in Washington, D.C., at age 83.

One year 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.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian Sid Caesar is 82. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 64. Actor Alan Feinstein is 63. Author Ann Beattie is 57. Musician Will Lee ("Late Show with David Letterman") is 52. Actress Heather Thomas is 47. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 44. Rhythm and blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 40. Actor Henry Thomas is 33. Actor David Arquette is 33. Actor Larenz Tate is 29. Rhythm and blues singer Pink is 25. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 23.

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

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