The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Sept. 14, 2005 at 3:30 AM

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2005 with 108 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. 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; and actors Clayton Moore, serial action star of the 1940s who played the Lone Ranger on television, in 1914, Walter Koenig ("Star Trek") in 1936 (age 69), Joey Heatherton in 1944 (age 61), Sam Neill in 1947 (age 58), Mary Crosby in 1959 (age 46) and Faith Ford in 1964 (age 41).

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. George 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, carried by a Detroit station and 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 U.S. quintuplets were born in Aberdeen, S.D., to Maryann and Andrew Fischer.

In 1962, Princess Grace of Monaco -- American film 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 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 U.S. 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 had been canceled 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.

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

In 2001, President Bush proclaimed this to be a day of national mourning and remembrance for those killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The FBI meanwhile identified the hijackers and learned that several had taken flying lessons in Florida.

In 2003, an estimated 124 people were reported dead or missing after South Korea was struck by the most powerful typhoon to hit the nation in a century.

Also in 2003, Swedish voters turned thumbs down on a proposal to make the euro the national currency.

In 2004, a massive car bomb killed 47 people and injured more than 100 others in Baghdad, catching mostly conscripts seeking a job in the Iraqi police force. The many wounded were reported gravely injured.

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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