Today is Wednesday, October 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1273 - Count Rudolf IV of Habsburg is crowned German King Rudolf and establishes the house of Habsburg in Austrian provinces.

1596 - Duke of Norfolk is imprisoned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth for attempting to marry Mary Queen of Scots.

1800 - Spain cedes Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.

1838 - The first Anglo-Afghan War begins with the British heading for Kabul to prevent increasing Russian influence from threatening Britain's position in India.

1887 - Baluchistan is united with India.

1918 - An American unit fighting in World War I gains fame as the Lost Battalion after getting trapped in the Argonne Forest of France. The troops hold out against incredible odds until they are rescued Oct. 8.

1927 - Russian-Persian nonaggression pact is signed.

1928 - Soviet Union inaugurates first five-year plan to increase farm and industrial production.

1936 - General Francisco Franco is named head of state in the part of Spain under Nationalist control.

1949 - The People's Republic of China is proclaimed in Beijing under Mao Zedong, with Zhou En-lai as premier and foreign minister.

1953 - United States agrees to give France US$385 million in aid to train and equip more Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian troops and increase temporary French forces in Indo-China.

1964 - The U.S. Free Speech Movement is launched at the University of California at Berkeley.

1970 - Egypt's Vice President Anwar Sadat succeeds the late Gamal Abdel Nasser as president.

1971 - Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida.

1978 - South Pacific archipelago of Tuvalu, formerly the Ellice Islands, becomes independent from Britain.

1980 - Warsaw court gives legal approval to Poland's first six independent trade unions.

1986 - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's presidential library and museum is dedicated in Atlanta.

1989 - Denmark becomes the first nation in the world to allow homosexuals to marry; Communist East Berlin permits exodus of about 7,000 East Germans to the west.

1990 - Minority Serbs in Croatia proclaim autonomy.

1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush condemns the military coup in Haiti, suspending economic and military aid and demanding that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide be returned to power.

1992 - Vice President Itamar Franco takes over from Brazil's impeached President Fernando Collor de Mello.

1993 - At a conference in Washington, 43 countries pledge nearly US$2 billion to bankroll Palestinians as they prepare for home rule.

1994 - The U.S. National Hockey League team owners begin a 103-day lockout of their players.

1996 - The U.N. Security Council lifts sanctions against Yugoslavia in recognition of Serbia's role in helping bring peace to Bosnia.

1997 - The founder of the militant Hamas movement, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, is freed from Israel's Ayalon prison and flown to Amman, Jordan.

1998 - Indonesia offers East Timor wide-ranging autonomy, bringing a possible conclusion to 20 years of civil war on the island.

2001 - A Pakistan-based militant group attacks the state legislature in Indian-ruled Kashmir, killing 40 people.

2003 - President Paul Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front party wins a majority in the parliamentary elections. It is the nation's first multiparty legislative elections since independence from Belgium in 1962.

2004 - A suicide attacker carrying a bomb in a briefcase strikes at a Shiite mosque crammed with worshippers in eastern Pakistan, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 50 during prayer service.

2005 - Twin bombings rip through restaurants crowded with foreign tourists on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 50.

2006 - Families in northwest Nigeria are swept away in a torrent of water and up to 40 people are feared dead after a dam collapses.

2007 - A volcano erupts on Jabal al-Tair, a tiny Yemeni island in the Red Sea, collapsing part of the island, covering the rest with lava, and forcing the evacuation of a small military base.

2008 - The last czar and his family were victims of political repression, Russia's Supreme Court rules, formally restoring the Romanov name and furthering a Kremlin effort to encourage patriotism by celebrating the country's czarist past.

2009 - Death toll climbs to more than 1,000 after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake ripples through Sumatra, the westernmost island in the Indonesian archipelago.

2010 - American scientists deliberately infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital in Guatemala with syphilis 60 years ago, a recently unearthed experiment that prompted U.S. officials to apologize and declare outrage over "such reprehensible research."

2011 - President Hamid Karzai gives up trying to talk to the Taliban, saying in a video that Pakistan holds the only key to making peace with insurgents and must do more to support a political resolution to the war.

2012 - A manifesto complaining about Iran's stumbling economy addressed to the labor minister gets 10,000 signatures in one of the most wide-reaching public outcries over the state of the country's economy.

2013 — U.N. says sectarian bloodshed in Iraq has surged to levels not seen since 2008 with more than 5,000 people killed since April.

Today's Birthdays:

Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740); Paul Dukas, French composer (1865-1935); Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-born pianist (1904-1989); Jimmy Carter, U.S. president (1924--); Julie Andrews, English-born actress (1935--); Youssou N'Dour, Senegalese singer (1959--).

Thought For Today:

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real — Jules Verne, French author (1828-1905).