Today is the 244th day of 2014 and the 73rd day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1897, the first section of Boston's subway system -- the first underground public transportation in the United States -- opened.
In 1902, "A Trip to the Moon," widely considered the first science fiction film, was released in France.
In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II.
In 1985, American and French researchers discovered the wreckage of the luxury liner Titanic on the ocean floor near Newfoundland.
In 2004, Chechen militants took more than 1,100 people hostage at a school in Beslan, Russia.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), composer; Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), author/journalist; Richard Farnsworth (1920-2000), actor; Rocky Marciano (1923-1969), boxer; Boxcar Willie (1931-1999), singer-songwriter; Conway Twitty (1933-1993), singer-songwriter; Alan Dershowitz (1938- ), attorney; Lily Tomlin (1939- ), actress/comedian; Barry Gibb (1946- ), singer-songwriter; Phil McGraw (1950- ), TV personality; Gloria Estefan (1957- ), singer-songwriter.
TODAY'S FACT: Of all the countries involved in World War II, Poland is believed to have lost the highest percentage of its citizens to war-related fatalities, at about 20 percent.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1964, San Francisco Giants pitcher Masanori Murakami became the first Japanese player to play in the American major leagues, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in a 4-1 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York City.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "... A criminal trial is not a search for truth. Scientists search for truth. Philosophers search for morality. A criminal trial searches for only one result: proof beyond a reasonable doubt." -- Alan Dershowitz
TODAY'S NUMBER: 900 -- unmarked graves unearthed by workers building the first section of the Boston subway system in the late 19th century.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Aug. 25) and first quarter moon (Sept. 2).