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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Feb. 3, 2008 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Sunday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2008 with 332 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include German composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1809; U.S. journalist Horace Greeley in 1811; Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor of medicine, in 1821; poet and novelist Gertrude Stein in 1874; artist Norman Rockwell in 1894; author James Michener in 1907; comedians Joey Bishop in 1918 and Shelley Berman in 1926 (age 82); Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton in 1940 (age 68); and actors Blythe Danner in 1943 (age 65), Morgan Fairchild in 1950 (age 58), Nathan Lane in 1956 (age 52), Thomas Calabro in 1959 (age 49), and Maura Tierney ("ER") in 1965 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, decreeing that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment, allowing establishment of an income tax, became part of the U.S. Constitution after ratification by Wyoming.

In 1917, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany after a German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare.

In 1924, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, died in Washington at the age of 67.

In 1959, singers Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens were killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.

In 1966, the Soviet Union accomplished the first controlled landing on the moon when the unmanned spacecraft Lunik 9 touched down on the Ocean of Storms.

In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act.

In 1984, a Long Beach, Calif., hospital announced the birth of the world's first baby conceived by embryo transplant.

In 1992, the angry rhetoric escalated between the United States and Japan when Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa accused U.S. workers of lacking a "work ethic."

In 1994, the shuttle Discovery blasted off into space with the first Russian astronaut aboard a U.S. spacecraft.

Also in 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the United States was lifting its trade embargo against Vietnam.

In 1998, Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker the first female inmate to be put to death by the state in 135 years.

Also in 1998, a U.S. Marine jetfighter, flying low over mountains in Italy, accidentally severed a ski lift cable, sending 20 people in a cable car plunging to their deaths.

In 2004, the discovery of the lethal poison ricin in the mailroom of U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., the Senate majority leader, forced the closing of three Senate office buildings in Washington.

In 2005, investigators looking into the U.N. oil-for-food program reported finding gross mismanagement.

Also in 2005, more than 50 people died when a train rammed a trailer carrying a wedding party at a railroad crossing in India.

In 2006, almost 200 people were reported dead with another 800 listed as missing after an Egyptian ferry sank in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt. Authorities said the passengers were mostly workers and vacationers returning from Saudi Arabia.

In 2007, a truck bomb exploded in a Baghdad market killing at least 135 and injuring more than 300.


A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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