Today is Saturday, September 15, the 259th day of 2012. There are 107 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1590 - Giovanni Battista signs treaty with French Huguenots to bring army of 156,000 German and Swiss mercenaries into France.
1776 - British forces occupy New York City during the American Revolution.
1777 - Polish Count Casimir Pulaski is commissioned major general in American Revolutionary Army.
1810 - Mexico rejects Spanish rule.
1821 - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador declare independence.
1882 - British forces occupy Cairo; Arab Pasha surrenders and is banished to Ceylon — now Sri Lanka.
1916 - Tanks are used for the first time in war, in a British attack on German lines near the Somme in France.
1917 - Russia is proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government.
1918 - Serb and French forces break through Bulgarian lines on the Salonika front during World War I. Bulgaria soon sues for peace.
1935 - The Nuremberg laws are passed, making discrimination against Jews part of Germany's national policy and making the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.
1938 - British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain visits Germany's Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden where Hitler states his determination to annex the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
1940 - The Royal Air Force inflicts heavy losses on the Luftwaffe as the tide turns in the Battle of Britain during World War II.
1942 - German armies attack Russian city of Stalingrad in World War II.
1946 - People's Republic is formed in Bulgaria after referendum rejects monarchy.
1950 - U.N. forces under U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur land at Inchon, South Korea, halting North Korean advance.
1953 - The U.N. General Assembly rejects Communist demands that China be admitted into the organization in order to help plan a Korean peace conference.
1959 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev is welcomed by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower as he arrives for an unprecedented two-week visit to the U.S.
1963 - Four children are killed when a bomb goes off during Sunday services at a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama.
1971 - Laotian forces recapture the strategic Boloven Plateau town of Paksong following a fierce battle with North Vietnamese troops that claims 481 lives.
1976 - The South African government begins removing 45,000 Bakalobeng tribesmen from a Transvaal area into the Bophutatswana homeland as part of its policy to assign black tribes to autonomous areas.
1982 - Iran's former foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, is executed after being convicted of plotting against the government.
1988 - Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir says Hungary has agreed to renew ties with Israel after 21-year break.
1992 - Palestinian negotiators demand a commitment that Israel will withdraw from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as part of a Middle East settlement.
1993 - Hijackers, brandishing grenades, force a Russian jetliner with 52 people aboard to land in Norway, then surrender to police and ask for political asylum.
1995 - Tanks, howitzers and other heavy weaponry roll away from Sarajevo as Bosnian Serbs begin complying with a U.S.-brokered agreement to ease the shattered city's siege.
1997 - An Egyptian military court convicts 72 Islamic militants of subversion and sentences four of them to death.
1998 - Rival Bodo and Santhal tribes clash with guns, machetes and traditional bows and arrows in India's remote northeast, killing at least 30 people.
1999 - Countries from France to Thailand promise to send soldiers to rescue starving refugees from slaughter in East Timor, as the U.N. Security Council authorizes an international peacekeeping force for the beleaguered province.
2000 - Mexicans are free to publicly toast their independence from Spain for the first time in 70 years. The sale of alcoholic beverages during patriotic Mexican events had been banned since President Pascual Ortiz Rubio was wounded in an assassination attempt in 1930.
2001 - Tropical Storm Gabrielle heads out to sea after leaving half a million Florida homes without electricity.
2003 - A fire at Saudi Arabia's largest prison, al-Hair, in Riyadh, kills 67 inmates and wounds 23 others. The blaze is the deadliest prison fire in Saudi history.
2005 - North Korea says it will not give up its nuclear weapons without receiving a reactor for generating power, stalling six-nation talks on Pyongyang's atomic programs.
2006 - Ivory Coast protesters angry over toxic waste dumping blamed for six deaths set fire to a port official's home, beat a former transport minister and blockade streets in Abidjan, the country's commercial center.
2007 - The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq offers money for the murder of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and his editor who recently produced images deemed insulting to Islam.
2008 — Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signs a power-sharing agreement with his nemesis President Robert Mugabe.
2009 - Helicopter-borne U.S. commandos attack a convoy in rural southern Somalia, killing top al-Qaida fugitive Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted for the 2002 car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner.
2010 - A mortar attack by Palestinian militants and airstrikes by Israel form the grim backdrop as Mideast leaders end their latest round of peace talks, still divided on major issues.
2011 - Denmark elects its first female prime minister, ousting the right-wing government from power after 10 years of pro-market reforms and ever-stricter controls on immigration.
James Fenimore Cooper, U.S. writer (1789-1851); Robert Benchley, U.S. drama critic (1849-1945); Agatha Christie, British writer (1890-1976); Jean Renoir, French film director (1894-1979); Jessye Norman, U.S. soprano (1945--); Tommy Lee Jones, U.S. actor (1946--); Oliver Stone, U.S. film director (1946--); Britain's Prince Harry (1984--).
Thought for Today:
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play — Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900).