Today is the 273rd day of 2012 and the eighth day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1789, the U.S. Department of War established a regular army, maintaining several hundred troops.
In 1916, The New York Times reported that John D. Rockefeller, the head of Standard Oil, was almost certainly a billionaire, the world's first.
In 2005, John G. Roberts Jr. was sworn in as chief justice of the United States.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), writer; Enrico Fermi (1901-1954), nuclear physicist; Greer Garson (1904-1996), actress; Gene Autry (1907-1998), singer/actor; Jerry Lee Lewis (1935- ), singer/musician; Madeline Kahn (1942-1999), actress; Ian McShane (1942- ), actor; Lech Walesa (1943- ), labor leader/politician; Zachary Levi (1980- ), actor; Kevin Durant (1988- ), basketball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1954, during the World Series, the New York Giants' Willie Mays caught Cleveland Indian Vic Wertz's near-home run in what is regarded as one of the greatest catches in baseball history.
TODAY'S FACT: Miguel de Cervantes' "Don Quixote" is widely considered to be the first modern novel. It was initially published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "He who puts out his hand to stop the wheel of history will have his fingers crushed." -- Lech Walesa
TODAY'S NUMBER: $69 billion -- net worth of Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, the world's richest man, in March 2012.
TODAY'S MOON: Full moon (Sept. 29).