Today is Friday, Sept. 10, the 254th day of 2004. There are 112 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 10, 1813, an American naval force commanded by Oliver H. Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

On this date:

In 1608, John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.

In 1846, Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing machine.

In 1919, New York City welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who'd served in the U.S. First Division during World War I.

In 1939, Canada declared war on Nazi Germany.

In 1945, Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating with the Nazis.

In 1948, American-born Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio broadcaster Axis Sally, was indicted in Washington, D.C., for treason. (She was later convicted, and served 12 years in prison.)

In 1955, "Gunsmoke" premiered on CBS.

In 1963, 20 black students entered Alabama public schools following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace.

In 1977, convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant, became the last person to date to be executed by the guillotine in France.

In 1979, four Puerto Rican nationalists imprisoned for a 1954 attack on the U.S. House of Representatives and a 1950 attempt on the life of President Truman were granted clemency by President Carter.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and top national security advisers met to discuss Haiti, but made no final decisions. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario defeated Steffi Graf to win the U.S. Open women's championship.

Five years ago: The U.S. government began freeing 14 Puerto Rican nationalists granted clemency by President Clinton. A federal judge ordered an end to busing and other means of achieving racial balance in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the North Carolina school system that pioneered urban busing in the United States after a landmark Supreme Court ruling three decades earlier.

One year ago: Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, 46, was stabbed in a Stockholm department store; she died the next day. The first video image of Osama bin Laden in nearly two years was broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV. Israel bombed the home of a Hamas leader, killing his eldest son and a bodyguard in retaliation for two suicide bombings.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Robert Wise is 90. Golfer Arnold Palmer is 75. Country singer Tommy Overstreet is 67. Actor Greg Mullavey is 65. Jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers is 64. Singer Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night) is 62. Singer Jose Feliciano is 59. Actor Tom Ligon is 59. Actress Judy Geeson is 56. Rock musician Joe Perry (Aerosmith) is 54. Actress Amy Irving is 51. Country singer Rosie Flores is 48. Actress Kate Burton is 47. Movie director Chris Columbus is 46. Actor Colin Firth is 44. Rock singer-musician David Lowery (Cracker) is 44. Rock musician Robin Goodridge (Bush) is 38. Rock singer-musician Miles Zuniga (Fastball) is 38. Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 36. Movie director Guy Ritchie is 36. Actor Ryan Phillippe is 30.

Thought for Today: "The authentic and pure values, truth, beauty, and goodness, in the activity of a human being are the result of one and the same act, a certain application of the full attention to the object." - Simone Weil, French philosopher (1909-1943).

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