Today is Monday, September 8, the 251st day of 2014. There are 114 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 8, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted a "full, free, and absolute pardon" to former President Richard Nixon "for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974."
On this date:
In 1504, Michelangelo's towering marble statue of David was unveiled to the public in Florence, Italy.
In 1761, Britain's King George III married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz a few hours after meeting her for the first time.
In 1892, an early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance," written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in "The Youth's Companion."
In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.
In 1921, Margaret Gorman, 16, of Washington D.C., was crowned the first "Miss America" in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 1934, more than 130 people lost their lives in a fire aboard the liner SS Morro Castle off the New Jersey coast.
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a "limited national emergency" in response to the outbreak of war in Europe.
In 1944, Nazi Germany fired the first of its V-2 rockets, which were faster and more powerful than the V-1, into London during World War II.
In 1954, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was founded in Manila by the United States, France, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan.
In 1964, public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, reopened after being closed for five years by officials attempting to prevent court-ordered racial desegregation.
In 1989, Partnair Flight 394, a Convair CV-580, crashed into the sea off Denmark, killing all 55 people on board.
In 1994, USAir Flight 427, a Boeing 737, crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.
Ten years ago: CBS' "60 Minutes II" aired a report raising questions about President George W. Bush's National Guard service; however, CBS News ended up apologizing for a "mistake in judgment" after memos featured in the report were challenged as forgeries. The Genesis space capsule, which had spent three years gathering solar wind samples, crashed to Earth when its parachutes failed to deploy. (Despite the crash, scientists were able to save enough of the solar samples for study.) Richard G. Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations, was found dead at his home in Hayden, Idaho; he was 86.
Five years ago: In a nationally broadcast pep talk from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, President Barack Obama challenged the nation's students to take pride in their education. Justice Sonia Sotomayor ceremonially took her seat at the Supreme Court in front of a packed courtroom that included President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. A U.N.-backed commission said it had found "convincing evidence" of fraud in Afghanistan's presidential election. Veteran Hollywood columnist Army Archerd, 87, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous, credited with boosting finances at the nation's largest civil rights organization and helping to stabilize it, announced plans to step down at year's end. Top-seeded Serena Williams won her fifth U.S. Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating No. 2 Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in a windy final. The International Olympic Committee voted wrestling back onto the program for the 2020 and 2024 Games. Perennial pitchman and car dealer Cal Worthington died in Orland, California, at age 92.
Today's Birthdays: Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 74. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is 73. Actor Alan Feinstein is 73. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 72. Author Ann Beattie is 67. Cajun singer Zachary Richard (ree-SHARD') is 64. Musician Will Lee (TV: "Late Show with David Letterman") is 62. Actress Heather Thomas is 57. Singer Aimee Mann is 54. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 54. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 50. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech (chehk) is 49. Alternative country singer Neko (NEE'-koh) Case is 44. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 43. Actor Martin Freeman is 43. Actor David Arquette is 43. TV-radio personality Kennedy is 42. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 39. Actor Larenz Tate is 39. Actor Nathan Corddry is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 35. Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is 34. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 33. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is 27. Dance music artist AVICII is 25.
Thought for Today: "Fools act on imagination without knowledge, pedants act on knowledge without imagination." -- Alfred North Whitehead, English philosopher and mathematician (1861-1947).