The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Sept. 14, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Sunday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2003 with 108 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Pluto, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov in 1849; artist and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, "Gibson Girl" creator, in 1867; Margaret Sanger, American pioneer leader in the birth control movement, in 1879; film director/producer Hal Wallis in 1899; Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger on television, in 1914; and actors Walter Koenig (classic "Star Trek") in 1936 (age 67), Joey Heatherton in 1944 (age 59), Sam Neill ("Jurassic Park") in 1947 (age 56), Mary Crosby in 1959 (age 44) and Faith Ford in 1964 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 1628, Salem, Mass., was founded.

In 1776, the British Army entered New York City after defeating the Americans, under Gen. Washington, at the Battle of Long Island.

In 1847, Mexico City was occupied by the U.S. Army.

In 1901, President William McKinley died of wounds inflicted by an assassin eight days earlier. He was succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1920, the first live radio dance music was broadcast on a Detroit station featuring Paul Specht and his orchestra. The idea caught on fast.

In 1959, the Soviet probe Lunik-2 became the first Earth-launched space vehicle to land on the moon.

In 1963, the first surviving American quintuplets were born in Aberdeen, S.D., to Maryann and Andrew Fischer.

In 1962, Princess Grace of Monaco -- American actress Grace Kelly -- was killed when her car plunged off a mountain road by the Cote D'Azur. She was 52.

In 1984, Joe Kittinger, 56, left Caribou, Maine, in a 10-story-tall helium balloon to make the first solo trans-Atlantic balloon crossing. He reached the French coast on the 17th and crash-landed in Italy the next day.

In 1989, 47-year-old Joseph Wesbecker used an AK-47 assault rifle to kill seven people in a Louisville, Ky., printing plant where he once worked. He then shot himself to death.

In 1990, Iraqi soldiers stormed the French, Belgian and Canadian diplomatic buildings in Kuwait and briefly detained five diplomats, including a U.S. consul.

In 1991, the South African government, ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party and 20 other anti-apartheid groups signed a peace accord to end black factional violence.

In 1992, the Senate voted to repeal the so-called "gag" rule prohibiting health care workers at federally financed clinics from telling pregnant patients that abortion is an option.

In 1993, President Clinton signed three side agreements to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1994, Allan H. "Bud" Selig, the acting major league baseball commissioner, announced that the remainder of the season, the playoffs and the World Series was cancelled because of the month-old strike by players.

In 1996, the Bosnians elected a three-person collective presidency: one Muslim, one Serb and one Croat. Four days later, Washington said its peacekeeping forces will leave Bosnia by year's end.

In 1998, WorldCom purchased MCI in the third-largest telecommunications merger in U.S. history.

In 2000, Republican presidential candidate Gov. George W. Bush agreed to take part in the presidential debates being organized by a bipartisan commission, after saying for weeks that he would not participate.

In 2001, President Bush proclaimed this to be a day of national mourning and remembrance for those killed in the terrorist attacks and visited "Ground Zero" where the World Trade Center had stood. The FBI meanwhile identified the hijackers and learned that several had taken flying lessons in Florida.

A thought for the day: John Kenneth Galbraith wrote that when a big corporation pays a big salary to a big boss, it's "not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself."

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