Today is Saturday, Sept. 8, the 252nd day of 2012. There are 114 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 8, 1892, an early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance," written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in "The Youth's Companion."
On this date:
In 1504, Michelangelo's towering marble statue of David was unveiled to the public in Florence, Italy.
In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Florida.
In 1761, Britain's King George III married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, just a few hours after meeting her for the first time.
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, N.J.
In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, D-La., was shot and mortally wounded inside the Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long's bodyguards.)
In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.
In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.
In 1971, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts made its official debut in Washington, D.C., with a performance of Leonard Bernstein's "Mass."
In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.
In 1987, former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart admitted during an interview on ABC's "Nightline" that he had committed adultery, and said he had no plans to resume his White House bid.
In 1994, a USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.
Ten years ago: The government reported that violent crime rate had dropped by ten percent the previous year, reaching lowest level since 1973. Pete Sampras beat Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to win his 14th Grand Slam title and the U.S. Open for the fifth time.
Five years ago: Sheriff's deputies in Logan County, W.Va., removed Megan Williams, a 20-year-old black woman, from a house in Big Creek, where she'd endured what authorities described as days of torture. (Seven white men and women pleaded guilty in the case, but in a strange twist, Williams recanted her accusations in 2009; however, one of the defendants said, "It did happen.") Top-ranked Justine Henin overwhelmed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 to win her second U.S. Open women's title and seventh Grand Slam championship.
One year ago: Addressing a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama challenged a reluctant Congress to urgently pass a larger-than-expected $450 billion jobs plan to "jolt an economy that has stalled." Ten oil workers were forced to abandon a crippled 94-foot research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico and pile into a life raft during Tropical Storm Nate; by the time rescuers arrived three days after, three of the men had died, and a fourth died later at a hospital.
Today's Birthdays: Comedian Sid Caesar is 90. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 72. Actor Alan Feinstein is 71. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 70. Author Ann Beattie is 65. Cajun singer Zachary Richard is 62. Musician Will Lee ("Late Show with David Letterman") is 60. Actress Heather Thomas is 55. Singer Aimee Mann is 52. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 52. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 48. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech is 47. Alternative country singer Neko Case is 42. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 41. Actor Martin Freeman is 41. Actor Henry Thomas is 41. Actor David Arquette is 41. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 37. Actor Larenz Tate is 37. Actor Nathan Corddry is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 33. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 31.
Thought for Today: "Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." -- T.H. Huxley, English biologist and author (1825-1895).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.