Today is Monday, Sept. 20, the 264th day of 2004. There are 102 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 20, 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia. (Magellan was killed en route, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)

On this date:

In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.

In 1947, former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia died.

In 1954, the live T.V. drama "Twelve Angry Men" was presented as an episode of CBS' "Studio One" anthology series.

In 1962, black student James Meredith was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)

In 1973, in their so-called "battle of the sexes," tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.

In 1973, singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash near Natchitoches, La.; he was 30.

In 1977, the first wave of Southeast Asian "boat people" arrived in San Francisco under a new U.S. resettlement program.

In 1979, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, self-styled head of the Central African Empire, was overthrown in a French-supported coup while on a visit to Libya.

In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing a dozen people.

In 1989, F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as president of South Africa.

Ten years ago: Space shuttle Discovery and its six astronauts landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California after an 11-day mission. Broadway composer Jule Styne died in New York at age 88.

Five years ago: Lawrence Russell Brewer became the second white supremacist to be convicted in the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., in Jasper, Texas. (Brewer was later sentenced to death.) Heavily armed international peacekeepers landed in East Timor, clearing the way for the rest of a U.N.-approved force charged with restoring order. Raisa Gorbachev, wife of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, died after a battle with leukemia; she was 67.

One year ago: Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, was shot in Baghdad; she died five days later. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi easily won re-election as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. A sightseeing helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, killed all seven on board. Five of six children riding on an all-terrain vehicle in Coffee County, Ga., were killed when they were hit by a motorist.

Today's Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach is 87. Singer Gogi Grant is 80. Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 75. Actress Sophia Loren is 70. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 57. Hockey player Guy LaFleur is 53. Jazz musician Peter White is 50. Actress Betsy Brantley is 49. Actor Gary Cole is 48. Actress Kristen Johnston is 37. Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson are 37. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 36. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (Lifehouse) is 25.

Thought for Today: "I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail." - William Faulkner, American author (1897-1962).


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