TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean.
In 1789, Congress approved the 10 constitutional amendments collectively known as the Bill of Rights and sent them to the states for ratification.
In 1957, U.S. Army troops stood guard as black students were admitted to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time.
In 2005, the Irish Republican Army officially disarmed.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Faulkner (1897-1962), author; Walter "Red" Smith (1905-1982), sportswriter; Phil Rizzuto (1917-2007), baseball player; Barbara Walters (1929- ), TV journalist; Shel Silverstein (1930-1999), author; Michael Douglas (1944- ), actor; Mark Hamill (1951- ), actor; Christopher Reeve (1952-2004), actor; Heather Locklear (1961- ), actress; Scottie Pippen (1965- ), basketball player; Will Smith (1968- ), actor/rapper; Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969- ), actress; T.I. (1980- ), rapper; Donald Glover (1983- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: Of the 163 nominations to the Supreme Court since 1789, 12 were rejected by the Senate.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1882, Providence and Worcester competed in Major League Baseball's first doubleheader.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words." -- William Faulkner, "As I Lay Dying"
TODAY'S NUMBER: $813 million -- estimated total cost of the Mars Observer mission, launched on this day in 1992. The probe failed eleven months later, three days prior to its orbital insertion around Mars.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Sept. 21) and new moon (Sept. 28).