Today is Sunday, Sept. 9, the 253rd day of 2012. There are 113 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 9, 1543, Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scots at Stirling Castle, nine months after she was born.
On this date:
In 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term "United States" official, replacing "United Colonies."
In 1830, Charles Durant flew a balloon from New York City across the Hudson River to Perth Amboy, N.J.
In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.
In 1919, some 1,100 members of Boston's 1,500-man police force went on strike. (The strike was broken by Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge with replacement officers.)
In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) was incorporated by the Radio Corp. of America.
In 1932, the steamboat Observation exploded in New York's East River, killing 72 people.
In 1948, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) was declared.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.
In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.
In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong died in Beijing at age 82.
In 1986, Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken hostage; he was released 44 months later.
In 1997, Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland's future. Actor Burgess Meredith died in Malibu, Calif., at age 89.
Ten years ago: Former Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was confronted outside the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., by conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel, who demanded that Aldrin swear on a Bible that he'd actually been to the moon; Aldrin ended up punching Sibrel in the jaw. Iraq challenged the United States to produce "one piece of evidence" that it was producing weapons of mass destruction. An express train traveling from Calcutta to New Delhi, India, derailed, killing at least 130 people.
Five years ago: Seemingly taunting Osama bin Laden, President George W. Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, said in Sunday talk-show appearances that the fugitive al-Qaida leader was "virtually impotent" beyond his ability to hide away and spread anti-American propaganda. Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4 to win his fourth straight U.S. Open championship. Britney Spears performed her new single "Gimme More" in a much-criticized comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.
One year ago: New Yorkers and Washingtonians shrugged off talk of a new terror threat as intelligence officials scrambled to nail down information on a possible al-Qaida strike timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11. President Barack Obama, speaking in Richmond, Va., urged Americans to pressure their lawmakers to pass his $447 billion jobs plan.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Sylvia Miles is 78. Actor Topol is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 70. Singer Inez Foxx is 70. Singer Dee Dee Sharp is 67. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 66. Country singer Freddy Weller is 65. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Joe Theismann is 63. Rock musician John McFee (The Doobie Brothers) is 62. Actor Tom Wopat is 61. Actress Angela Cartwright is 60. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 60. Actor Hugh Grant is 52. Actor-comedian Chip Esten is 47. Actress Constance Marie is 47. Actor David Bennent is 46. Actor Adam Sandler is 46. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 44. Model Rachel Hunter is 43. Actor Eric Stonestreet is 41. Actor Goran Visnjic is 40. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble' is 37. Country singer Joey Martin (Joey + Rory) is 37. Latin singer Maria Rita is 35. Actress Michelle Williams is 32. Actress Julie Gonzalo is 31. Country singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes is 20.
Thought for Today: "There are two great days in a person's life -- the day we are born and the day we discover why." -- William Barclay, Scottish theologian (1907-1978).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.