Today is Thursday, Sept. 6, the 250th day of 2012. There are 116 days left in the year.
On Sept. 6, 1997, a public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.
On this date:
In 1757, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution, was born in Auvergne, France.
In 1861, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses Grant occupied Paducah, Ky., during the Civil War.
In 1901, President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. (McKinley died eight days later.)
In 1916, the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tenn., by Clarence Saunders.
In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.
In 1948, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands was inaugurated as queen, two days after the abdication of her mother, Queen Wilhelmina.
In 1952, Canadian television broadcasting began in Montreal.
In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.
In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound jetliners. (Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a London-bound plane hijacked on Sept. 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on the ground in Egypt. No hostages were harmed.)
In 1972, a memorial service was held at the site of the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, a day after the deadly terrorist attack that had claimed the lives of eleven Israelis and five of their abductors.
In 1991, the Soviet Union recognized the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.