Peering into space
August 25: At a meeting of Venetian lawmakers 400 years ago, Galileo introduced his first telescope. While not the first telescope, Galileo's optic invention proved both more powerful and more profitable than a telescope invented a year before in the Netherlands. Within a year, Galileo had discovered moons orbiting Jupiter-hard-to-refute evidence against the prevailing geocentric view of the Universe.
August 29: Arizona Senator and one-time Republican presidential nominee John McCain turns 73. But his advancing age won't stop the senator from running for reelection in 2010. And even though he'd be 74 on Election Day then, Arizona Democrats have advanced no serious challenger.
September 1: Today marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup that removed Libyan King Idris I from the throne and initiated an authoritarian regime under the control of Col. Muammar Qaddafi. And while his ideology may have mellowed during his four decades on the world scene, his sense of style has not.
World War II anniversary
September 1: Reporters called it Blitzkrieg-or lightning war. On Sept. 1, 1939, Hitler's German forces swept into Poland meeting only moderate resistance from the ill-equipped and outnumbered Polish forces that squared off against Hitler's cavalry (state-of-the-art tanks) with their own old-fashioned horseback cavalry.
College football returns
September 5: The first week of the 2009 college football season features a potentially raucous matchup between Alabama and Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff. Both the Crimson Tide and the Hokies could be ranked in the top 10, each needing a Week 1 victory to advance a serious campaign for a national championship.