Today is the 281st day of 2012 and the 16th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1896, The Wall Street Journal began publishing what is known today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked in the Mediterranean by Palestinian terrorists.
In 1996, Fox News Channel was launched on cable.
In 2001, the United States and Great Britain began air strikes against strategic targets in Afghanistan.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Niels Bohr (1885-1962), physicist; Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975), spiritual/political leader; June Allyson (1917-2006), actress; Al Martino (1927-2009), singer/actor; Desmond Tutu (1931- ), archbishop/Nobel laureate; Thomas Keneally (1935- ), novelist; Vladimir Putin (1952- ), Russian politician; Yo-Yo Ma (1955- ), cellist; Simon Cowell (1959- ), record executive/TV personality; Thom Yorke (1968- ), musician; Taylor Hicks (1976- ), singer.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1984, Chicago Bears running back Walter Peyton broke Jim Brown's career-rushing record of 12,312 yards.
TODAY'S FACT: In June 2005, after meeting with U.S. business executives, Vladimir Putin left with the NFL championship ring shown to him by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. There was speculation that Putin had mistakenly pocketed the ring, but Kraft confirmed that the ring was a gift, presented out of "respect and admiration."
TODAY'S QUOTE: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." -- Desmond Tutu
TODAY'S NUMBER: 2.6 million -- average daily prime-time audience of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel in August 2012.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Sept. 29) and last quarter (Oct. 8).