Today is the 254th day of 2016 and the 83rd day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1846, Elias Howe patented the first sewing machine.
In 1977, France used a guillotine in carrying out a death sentence for the last time.
In 2002, Switzerland became a member of the United Nations.
In 2008, the Large Hadron Collider was powered up for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Adele Astaire (1896-1981), dancer; Arnold Palmer (1929- ), golfer; Charles Kuralt (1934-1997), TV journalist; Roger Maris (1934-1985), baseball player; Buck Buchanan (1940-1992), football player; Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), biologist/writer; Bill O'Reilly (1949- ), TV host/author; Chris Columbus (1958- ), film director; Colin Firth (1960- ), actor; Randy Johnson (1963- ), baseball player; Guy Ritchie (1968- ), filmmaker; Ryan Phillippe (1974- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: The United Nations, which included 193 member states as of August 2016, began in 1945, when representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw the charter.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1972, the U.S. men's basketball team fell for the first time in Olympic competition, suffering a controversial 51-50 loss to the Soviet Union team on a last-second shot in the gold medal match.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The human mind delights in finding pattern -- so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it." -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Flamingo's Smile"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 140 -- countries that have abolished the use of capital punishment in law or practice as of 2016, according to Amnesty International.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter moon (Sept. 9) and full moon (Sept. 16).