Today is Wednesday, September 3, the 246th day of 2014. There are 119 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 3, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio address, Britain's King George VI said, "With God's help, we shall prevail." The same day, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner SS Athenia some 250 miles off the Irish coast, killing more than 100 out of the 1,400 or so people on board.
On this date:
In 1189, England's King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
In 1658, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, died in London; he was succeeded by his son, Richard.
In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.
In 1868, the Japanese city of Edo was renamed Tokyo.
In 1914, Cardinal Giacomo Della Chiesa became pope; he took the name Benedict XV.
In 1923, the United States and Mexico resumed diplomatic relations.
In 1944, British forces liberated Brussels during World War II.
In 1951, the television soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" made its debut on CBS.
In 1967, the original version of the television game show "What's My Line?," hosted by John Charles Daly, broadcast its final episode after more than 17 years on CBS.
In 1976, America's Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.
In 1989, a Cubana de Aviacion jetliner crashed after takeoff in Havana, killing all 126 aboard and 45 people on the ground.
In 1994, China and Russia proclaimed an end to any lingering hostilities, pledging they would no longer target nuclear missiles or use force against each other.
Ten years ago: A three-day hostage siege at a school in Beslan, Russia, ended in bloody chaos after Chechen militants set off bombs as Russian commandos stormed the building; more than 330 people, over half of them children, were killed. Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in New York with chest pains and shortness of breath; he ended up undergoing heart bypass surgery.
Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden told a Brookings Institution gathering that the Obama administration was fiercely determined to get a health care overhaul, although he conceded it likely wouldn't happen without "an awful lot of screaming and hollering." A private funeral service was held in Glendale, California, for pop superstar Michael Jackson, whose body was entombed in a mausoleum more than two months after his death.
One year ago: Ariel Castro, who'd held three women captive in his Cleveland home for nearly a decade before one escaped and alerted authorities, was found hanged in his prison cell, a suicide. Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in Pyongyang for his second visit to North Korea.
Today's Birthdays: "Beetle Bailey" cartoonist Mort Walker is 91. Actress Anne Jackson is 89. Actress Pauline Collins is 74. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 72. Actress Valerie Perrine is 71. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 66. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 59. Actor Steve Schirripa is 57. Actor Holt McCallany is 50. Rock singer-musician Todd Lewis is 49. Actor Charlie Sheen is 49. Singer Jennifer Paige is 41. Dance-rock musician Redfoo (LMFAO) is 39. Actress Ashley Jones is 38. Actress Nichole Hiltz is 36. Actor Nick Wechsler is 36. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 35. Actress Christine Woods (TV: "Hello Ladies") is 31. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 30. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White is 28. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 22.
Thought for Today: "It is awfully important to know what is and what is not your business." -- Gertrude Stein, American author (1874-1946).