Today is Friday, Sept. 24, the 268th day of 2004. There are 98 days left in the year. The Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, begins at sunset.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 24, 1789, Congress passed the First Judiciary Act, which provided for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1896, author F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minn.

In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.

In 1934, Babe Ruth made his farewell appearance as a regular player with the New York Yankees in a game against the Boston Red Sox. (The Sox won, 5-0.)

In 1955, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Va.

In 1963, the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union limiting nuclear testing.

In 1964, the situation comedy "The Munsters" premiered on CBS television.

In 1996, the United States, represented by President Clinton, and the world's other major nuclear powers signed a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons.

Ten years ago: A firefight erupted between U.S. Marines and a group of armed Haitians outside a police station in the northern coastal city of Cap-Haitien; 10 of the Haitians were killed.

Five years ago: Oregon teenager Kip Kinkel, who killed his parents and gunned down two classmates at school, abandoned an insanity defense and pleaded guilty to murder. (He was later sentenced to 112 years without parole.) A jury acquitted former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti of the 1979 killing of a journalist.

One year ago: After four turbulent months, three special legislative sessions and two Democratic walkouts, both houses of the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature adopted redistricting plans favoring the GOP. The top candidates vying to replace California Gov. Gray Davis joined in a lively debate. Tony-winning playwright Herb Gardner died in New York at age 68.

Today's Birthdays: ABC sportscaster Jim McKay is 83. Actress Sheila MacRae is 80. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 64. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 62. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 62. Actor Gordon Clapp ("NYPD Blue") is 56. Former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II (D-Mass.) is 52. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 46. Rhythm and blues singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 42. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") is 42. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 35. Actress Megan Ward is 35. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 33. Actor Kyle Sullivan ("Malcolm in the Middle") is 16.

Thought for Today: "The easiest way to get a reputation is go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter." - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940).


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