Today is Wednesday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2017 with 88 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars and Jupiter. Evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States, in 1822; Frederic Remington, painter of the American West, in 1861; pioneer movie comedian Buster Keaton in 1895; actor Charlton Heston in 1923; football Hall of Fame member Sam Huff in 1934 (age 83); author Jackie Collins in 1937; author Anne Rice in 1941 (age 76); author author Roy Blount Jr., both in 1941 (age 76); civil rights activist H. Rap Brown in 1943 (age 74); former baseball Manager Tony La Russa in 1944 (age 73); actor Clifton Davis in 1945 (age 72); actor Susan Sarandon in 1946 (age 71); actor Armand Assante in 1949 (age 68); actor Christoph Waltz in 1956 (age 61); recording executive and businessman Russell Simmons in 1957 (age 60); singer Jon Secada in 1961 (age 56); actor Liev Schreiber in 1967 (age 50); actor Alicia Silverstone in 1976 (age 41); actor Rachael Leigh Cook in 1979 (age 38); actor Caitriona Balfe in 1979 (age 38); Melissa Benoist in 1988 (age 29); actor Dakota Johnson in 1989 (age 28).


On this date in history:

In 1876, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now Texas A&M, opened. It was the first public higher education institution in Texas.

In 1883, the Orient Express train made its first run, originating in Paris, at Gare de l'Est, and ending in Giurgiu, Romania, with stops in Munich and Vienna.

In 1895, the U.S. Open men's golf tournament was first contested. It was won by Horace Rawlins.

In 1927, artist Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting Mount Rushmore. It would take 14 years to complete, with work on the monument finishing in 1941. Despite the difficult nature of the project, there were no worker fatalities.

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In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik 1. The Soviet's successful launch caught America by surprise and was the spark which ignited the Space Race.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York on the first visit by a pope to the United States.

In 1976, Earl Butz resigned as U.S. agriculture secretary, with an apology for what he called the "gross indiscretion" of uttering a racist remark.

In 1989, Art Shell was hired by the Oakland Raiders as the first black head coach in the modern National Football League.

In 1991, the United States and 23 other countries signed an agreement banning mineral and oil exploration in Antarctica for 50 years.

In 1992, as many as 250 people were killed when an El Al 747 cargo plane crashed into an apartment building on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered several hundred more U.S. troops to Somalia one day after the deaths of three U.S. Marines in Mogadishu.

In 2001, a Siberian Airlines jetliner exploded and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 64 passengers and 12 crew members. The United States said evidence indicated the plane had been hit by a missile fired during a Ukrainian military training exercise.

In 2002, the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his alleged effort to detonate explosives hidden in his sneakers during a 2001 Paris-to-Miami flight. Reid was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2004, SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded rocket to reach the edge of space, flew to an altitude above 62 miles over the California desert.

In 2006, was created by Julian Assange as a depository for leaked documents and other classified materials.

In 2009, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement scored a landslide victory in the Greek elections. U.S.-born George Papandreou became prime minister, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He was sworn in two days later.

In 2010, a sludge reservoir burst in Hungary, sending 200 million gallons of toxic mud onto the roads of three villages, killing seven people, injuring 150 others and driving hundreds from their homes.

In 2013, Vietnamese Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, whose forces drove France (in 1954) and the United States (in 1975) out of Vietnam, dies in Hanoi at the age of 102.

A thought for the day: "You can become a winner only if you are willing to walk over the edge." -- Damon Runyon