Today is Friday, Sept. 2, the 245th day of 2011. There are 120 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II.
On this date:
In 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out.
In 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman's forces occupied Atlanta.
In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
In 1935, a Labor Day hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming more than 400 lives.
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. (Ho died on this date in 1969.)
In 1969, in what some regard as the birth of the Internet, two connected computers at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed test data through a 15-foot cable.
In 1986, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 1982 drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi. (Smith served 18 months.)
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush formally recognized the independence of the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which had broken away from the Soviet Union.
In 1998, a Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.
Ten years ago: South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard, who'd performed the first successful human heart transplant in 1967, died in Paphos, Cyprus, at age 78. Actor Troy Donahue, a one-time teen movie idol, died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 65. Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees came within one strike of a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox, only to have his bid broken up in the bottom of the ninth by Carl Everett. (The Yankees won, 1-0).
Five years ago: Afghan and NATO forces launched Operation Medusa, aimed at flushing out Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan; 14 British servicemen were killed when their patrol plane crashed. Two-time Olympic decathlon champion and four-term California congressman Bob Mathias died in Fresno, Calif., at age 75.
One year ago: Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged in a first round of renewed peace talks in Washington to keep meeting at regular intervals. Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson was selected the WNBA's most valuable player for the third time in her career.
Today's Birthdays: Dancer-actress Marge Champion is 92. Jazz musician Horace Silver is 83. Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., is 80. Former United States Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sam Gooden (The Impressions) is 72. Singer Jimmy Clanton is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rosalind Ashford (Martha & the Vandellas) is 68. Singer Joe Simon is 68. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw is 63. Basketball Hall of Famer Nate Archibald is 63. Actor Mark Harmon is 60. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is 60. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors is 59. Actress Linda Purl is 56. Rock musician Jerry Augustyniak (10,000 Maniacs) is 53. Country musician Paul Deakin (The Mavericks) is 52. Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson is 51. Actor Keanu Reeves is 47. Former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis is 46. Actress Salma Hayek is 45. Actress Kristen Cloke is 43. Actress Cynthia Watros is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer K-Ci is 42. Actor-comedian Katt Williams is 38. Actor Michael Lombardi is 37. Actress Tiffany Hines is 34. Rock musician Sam Rivers (Limp Bizkit) is 34. Rock musician Spencer Smith (Panic! at the Disco) is 24.
Thought for Today: "Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else." -- Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (1901-1978).