Today is Friday, Aug. 27, the 240th day of 2004. There are 126 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 27, 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia's Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.

On this date:

In 1770, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart.

In 1892, fire seriously damaged New York's original Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1894, Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act, which contained a provision for a graduated income tax that was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

In 1908, Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

In 1945, American troops began landing in Japan following the surrender of the Japanese government in World War II.

In 1962, the United States launched the Mariner II space probe, which flew past Venus the following December.

In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills.

In 1975, Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia's 3,000-year-old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at age 83 almost a year after being overthrown.

In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

Ten years ago: The State Department said the United States and Cuba had agreed to resume talks on Cuban migration with the hope of stemming the flow of refugees headed toward Florida.

Five years ago: The Federal Communications Commission announced new government wiretapping rules intended to help law enforcement authorities keep pace with advances in phone technology. However, a federal appeals court later threw out some of the new rules, citing privacy concerns.

One year ago: A granite monument of the Ten Commandments that became a lightning rod in a legal storm over church and state was wheeled from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building as protesters knelt, prayed and chanted, "Put it back!" In Chicago, a man who had been fired from an auto parts warehouse six months earlier came back with a gun and killed six employees before being shot dead by police. Thirty-nine people died in a stampede at an Indian religious festival. A multinational summit on North Korea's nuclear program opened in Beijing.

Today's Birthdays: Cajun-country singer Jimmy C. Newman is 77. Actor Tommy Sands is 67. Bluegrass singer-musician J.D. Crowe is 67. Musician Daryl Dragon is 62. Actress Tuesday Weld is 61. Rock singer-musician Tim Bogert is 60. Actress Marianne Sagebrecht is 59. Actress Barbara Bach is 57. Ex-porn star Harry Reems is 57. Country musician Jeff Cook (Alabama) is 55. Actor Paul Reubens is 52. Singer Willy DeVille is 51. Rock musician Alex Lifeson (Rush) is 51. Actress Diana Scarwid is 49. Rock musician Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) is 48. Actor Peter Stormare is 46. Country singer Jeffrey Steele is 43. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams is 42. Country musician Matthew Basford (Yankee Grey) is 42. Writer-producer Dean Devlin is 42. Rock musician Mike Johnson (Dinosaur Jr.) is 39. Rap musician Bobo (Cypress Hill) is 36. Rock musician Tony Kanal (No Doubt) is 34. Actress Sarah Chalke is 28. Rock musician Jon Siebels (Eve 6) is 25. Singer Mario is 18. Actress Alexa Vega ("Spy Kids") is 16.

Thought for Today: "If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian (1906-1945).

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