Today is Thursday, September 12, the 255th day of 2013. There are 110 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1609 - English explorer Henry Hudson sails into the New York river that now bears his name.

1683 - John III Sobieski of Poland and Charles of Lorraine raise the Turkish siege of Vienna, marking the end of Turkish domination in eastern Europe.

1801 - Alexander I of Russia announces annexation of Georgia.

1848 - Switzerland adopts new constitution as a federal union with strong central government.

1918 - U.S. forces led by Gen. John J. Pershing launch an attack on the German-occupied St. Mihiel salient north of Verdun, France, during World War I.

1938 - In a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demands self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

1943 - German paratroopers take Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he is being held by the Italian government.

1953 - Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

1959 - Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the moon.

1960 - The Central African Republics, Ghana and Guinea threaten to withdraw their troops from a security force unless the United Nations gives up its control of Leopoldville radio and the Congo's airports.

1964 - Dissident army officers try unsuccessfully to overthrow government of South Vietnam.

1970 - Palestinian guerrillas blow up three hijacked airliners in Jordan.

1974 - Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed by a military junta.

1977 - South African black student leader Steven Biko dies while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.

1980 - Turkish military seizes power and keeps it until 1983.

1987 - Communist rebels battle troops in fierce fighting near Manila.

1988 - Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 233 kph (145 mph), killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at $1 billion.

1990 - President Alberto Fujimori's government turns down a U.S. offer of $35.9 million for anti-drug counterinsurgency operations in Peru.

1991 - Scores of Iraqi soldiers along the Iraq-Saudi Arabian border are buried alive by U.S. tanks that pushed tons of sand and earth into their trenches during the Persian Gulf war.

1992 - Abimael Guzman, the shadowy founder of bloody Maoist guerrilla movement the Shining Path, is captured in a safe house in Lima, Peru.

1993 - Rebel Serbs in Croatia launch rocket attacks against targets near the capital.

1994 - In Poland, NATO soldiers and former East Bloc nations hold first joint maneuvers.

1995 - The Belarusian military shoots down a helium balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots.

1996 - Taliban rebels consolidate their hold on the strategic eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

1997 - Six Lebanese soldiers and one civilian are killed when Israel launches rockets at Lebanese army positions in south Lebanon.

1998 - Azem Hajdari, a leading Albanian opposition lawmaker, is assassinated by an unidentified gunmen.

1999 - Indonesia says it will accept a peacekeeping force in East Timor, which was ravaged by Indonesian-controlled militias after residents voted for independence.

2000 - A suspected car bomb rips through an underground garage in the Jakarta Stock Exchange building, killing 15 people and injuring dozens more.

2001 - After the collapse of the Twin Towers, U.S. President George W. Bush addresses a national audience to declare America is under attack and the United States will use all its resources to defeat terrorism.

2003 - The U.N. Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

2004 - Hurricane Ivan heads toward western Cuba and the southeastern United States after battering the Cayman Islands with ferocious 150-mph (240-kph) winds, killing at least 60 across the Caribbean.

2005 - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe quietly adopts constitutional changes that make it easier for the state to seize private property and prevent opponents from traveling abroad to criticize his 25-year rule.

2006 - Syrian guards foil an attempt by suspected al-Qaida-linked militants to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, exchanging fire outside the compound's walls.

2007 - Authorities confirm a new foot-and-mouth outbreak on the outskirts of London, just days after the government lifted livestock restrictions following the appearance of the devastating disease last month.

2008 - A car bomb rips through a crowded commercial district in a mainly Shiite town in Iraq, killing at least 32 people and wounds 43 others.

2009 - About 50 civilians, security forces and militants die in a wave of violence around Afghanistan, including a bomb that leaves 14 Afghan travelers dead in one of the country's most dangerous regions.

2010 - Chile's mining minister acknowledges that a problem has stalled the most advanced of three tunnels being drilled to 33 miners trapped underground and says officials might have to restart the bore hole in another location.

2011 - A leaking gasoline pipeline explodes, sending flames racing through a slum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi slum and kills at least 75 people.

2012 - A mob armed with guns and grenades launches a fiery attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Today's Birthdays:

France's King Francis I (1494-1547); Herbert Henry Asquith, British prime minister (1852-1928); Maurice Chevalier, French actor-entertainer (1888-1971); Alfred Knopf, U.S. publisher (1892-1984); Jesse Owens, U.S. athlete (1913-1980); Ian Holm, English actor (1931--); Linda Gray, U.S. actress (1940--).

Thought for Today:

In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).