Today is Sunday, Sept. 2, the 246th day of 2012. There are 120 days left in the year.
On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II.
On this date:
In 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out.
In 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces occupied Atlanta.
In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
In 1924, the Rudolf Friml operetta “Rose Marie” opened on Broadway.
In 1935, a Labor Day hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming more than 400 lives.
In 1944, during World War II, Navy pilot Lt. George Herbert Walker Bush was shot down by Japanese forces as he completed a bombing run over the Bonin Islands. (Bush was rescued by the crew of the submarine USS Finback; his two crew members, however, died.)
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. (Ho died on this date in 1969.)
In 1969, in what some regard as the birth of the Internet, two connected computers at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed test data through a 15-foot cable.
In 1972, Dave Wottle of the United States won the men’s 800-meter race at the Munich Summer Olympics.
In 1986, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 1982 drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi. (Smith served 18 months.)
In 1998, a Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.
Ten years ago: Negotiators at the World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, agreed on a plan geared to help the globe’s poorest people while reversing environmental declines. Glenn Tilton was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of United Airlines parent UAL Corp.
Five years ago: Following two days of talks in Geneva, the chief U.S. envoy said North Korea had agreed to account for and disable its atomic programs by the end of the year; the head of the North Korean delegation said his country’s willingness to cooperate was clear, but he did not cite any dates. Hurricane Felix strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 storm as it toppled trees and flooded homes on a cluster of Dutch islands before churning its way into the open waters of the Caribbean.
One year ago: In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama scrubbed a proposed clean-air regulation aimed at reducing smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who’d complained the rule would kill jobs in America’s ailing economy. Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and cut military ties over Israel’s refusal to apologize for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.