Today is the 290th day of 2012 and the 25th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1859, abolitionist John Brown led some 20 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry, Va.
In 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb.
In 1995, hundreds of thousands of black men joined the Million Man March, led by Louis Farrakhan in Washington, D.C.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Noah Webster (1758-1843), lexicographer; Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), playwright; David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973), statesman/first Israeli prime minister; Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953), playwright; Angela Lansbury (1925- ), actress; Gunter Grass (1927- ), novelist; Suzanne Somers (1946- ), actress; Bob Weir (1947- ), musician; Tim Robbins (1958- ), actor; John Mayer (1977- ), musician; Bryce Harper (1992- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1969, the 8-year-old New York Mets won the World Series over the Baltimore Orioles.
TODAY'S FACT: Noah Webster's stated goal in developing American spellers and textbooks was to rescue the American "native tongue" from "the clamour of pedantry."
TODAY'S QUOTE: "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it." -- Oscar Wilde
TODAY'S NUMBER: 9 -- countries thought to have nuclear-weapon capabilities in 2012 (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel).
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Oct. 15) and first quarter (Oct. 21).