Today is the 253rd day of 2018 and the 82nd 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 (1929-2016), 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 2017, 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: 106—countries that have abolished the death penalty as of 2018, according to Amnesty International.
TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (Sept. 9) and first quarter moon (Sept. 16).