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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Sept. 11, 2008 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Thursday, Sept. 11, the 255th day of 2008 with 111 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include American short story writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) in 1862; author D.H. Lawrence in 1885; Jimmie Davis, former Louisiana governor and songwriter ("You Are My Sunshine") in 1899; University of Alabama Football Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1913; former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1917; Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Tom Landry in 1924; filmmaker Brian De Palma in 1940 (age 68); entertainer Lola Falana in 1942 (age 66); actresses Amy Madigan in 1950 (age 58), Kristy McNichol in 1962 (age 46), and Virginia Madsen in 1961 (age 47); and actor/singer Harry Connick Jr. in 1967 (age 41).


On this date in history:

In 1777, troops commanded by Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British under Gen. William Howe in the Battle of Brandywine.

In 1841, all members of U.S. President John Tyler's Cabinet except Secretary of State Daniel Webster resigned in protest of Tyler's veto of a banking bill.

In 1847, Stephen Foster's first hit, "Oh! Susanna," had its debut at a concert in a Pittsburgh saloon and soon became standard for minstrel troupes.

In 1921, Fatty Arbuckle, one of the foremost comedians of the silent movie days, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of a starlet in an alleged sexual assault during a wild drinking party. Arbuckle eventually was cleared but his career had been ruined.

In 1959, Congress passed a bill authorizing food stamps for low-income Americans.

In 1973, the elected Socialist government of Salvador Allende of Chile was toppled in a right-wing military coup supported by the CIA. Allende died, reportedly by his own hand.

In 1985, Pete Rose's 4,192nd hit broke Ty Cobb's 57-year-old career Major League Baseball record. He finished his career with 4,256 hits.

In 1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced negotiations to withdraw 11,000 Soviet military advisers from Cuba and eliminate a $2 billion annual subsidy.

In 1996, the Iraqis fired at -- but missed -- two U.S. warplanes patrolling the no-fly zone. Washington ordered U.S. forces to the region.

In 1997, Mother Teresa received the first state funeral accorded a private citizen of India since the death of Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1948.

In 1998, as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to release to the public the text of the Starr report, U.S. President Bill Clinton told religious leaders that he had sinned.

In 2001, Islamic terrorists attacked the United States, crashing two hijacked airliners into the twin towers at New York's World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon outside Washington. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, apparently en route to Washington, when passengers jumped their captors. A reported 2,974 people were killed, most of them in the trade center towers, which collapsed.

U.S. President George W. Bush pledged to destroy the responsible terrorist organizations and the regimes that supported them. Osama bin Laden, a wealthy anti-American Saudi exile operating out of Afghanistan and leader of al-Qaida, a shadowy, far-flung terrorist organization, was identified as the ringleader of the attacks.

In 2002, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, under German indictment on 3,000 charges of murder stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was arrested in Pakistan with others allegedly linked to al-Qaida.

In 2003, the Israeli government decided "in principle" to deport Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat but said it would hold off taking such action "for now."

In 2004, a powerful Hurricane Ivan pounded Jamaica, popping roofs off houses, downing hundreds of trees and sending 23-foot waves ashore. The storm's death toll stood at 37 as it headed toward the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

In 2006, in a series of speeches commemorating the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S. President George Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq which he said had made the United States safer and likened the fight against terrorism to conflicts with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

In 2007, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's campaign said it would begin "vigorous" criminal background checks on its major fundraisers, a response to revelations about Norman Hsu, a fundraiser once convicted of fraud.


A thought for the day: "They were not only attacks on the United States, our friends in America, but an attack on the civilized world," proclaimed German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults on New York and Washington.

© 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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