It's Wednesday, Sept. 12, the 256th day of 2012. There are 110 days left in the year.
Highlights: In 1942, during World War II, a German U-boat off West Africa torpedoed the RMS Laconia, which was carrying Italian prisoners of war, British soldiers and civilians. The German crew, joined by other U-boats, began rescue operations. (On Sept. 16, the rescue effort came to an abrupt halt when the Germans were attacked by a U.S. Army bomber; some 1,600 people died while more than 1,100 survived. As a result, U-boat commanders were ordered to no longer rescue civilian survivors of submarine attacks.) In 1962, in a speech at Rice University in Houston, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed his support for the manned space program, declaring: “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...."
Ten years ago: Raising the specter of war, President George W. Bush told skeptical world leaders at the United Nations to confront the “grave and gathering danger" of Saddam Hussein's Iraq — or to stand aside as the U.S. acted.
Five years ago: Oil prices briefly topped a record $80 a barrel.
One year ago: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the perceived front-runner in the Republican presidential contest, endured an onslaught from seven rivals during a fractious two-hour debate in Tampa, Fla.
Actor Ian Holm is 81. Actor Joe Pantoliano is 61. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is 56. Rock singer-musician Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five) is 46. Actor-comedian Louis C.K. is 45. Actor Paul Walker is 39. Country singer Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) is 38. Singer Ruben Studdard is 34. Basketball player Yao Ming is 32. Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson is 31.
— From wire reports