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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Feb. 11, 2009 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 11, the 42nd day of 2009 with 323 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Englishman William Talbot, a developer of photography, in 1800; inventor Thomas Edison in 1847; author Sidney Sheldon in 1917; King Farouk, Egypt's last monarch, in 1920; actors Kim Stanley in 1925, Leslie Nielsen in 1926 (age 83), Tina Louise in 1934 (age 75); former Florida Gov. and presidential son and brother Jeb Bush in 1953 (age 56); singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow in 1962 (age 47); actress Jennifer Aniston in 1969 (age 40); and singer/actress Brandy (Norwood) in 1979 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1858, French peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous said the Virgin Mary appeared to her at Lourdes.

In 1945, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin ended their wartime conference at Yalta.

In 1965, U.S. and South Vietnamese planes made the first bombing raids on North Vietnam.

In 1970, Japan put a satellite in space, following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union, the United States and France.

In 1987, Corazon Aquino was sworn in for a six-year presidential term under the new Philippine constitution.

In 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years behind bars.

In 1992, one police officer was killed and four people injured in a terrorist attack on the U.S. ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru.

In 1993, British Prime Minister John Major said Queen Elizabeth II will pay income tax on her personal income as well as being subject to capital and inheritance levies.

In 1998, Olympic officials took away the gold medal of Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati after he tested positive for a minute amount of marijuana. He blamed second-hand smoke. An arbitration panel restored his medal two days later.

Also in 1998, a U.S. judge ruled that pro golfer Casey Martin, who had trouble walking because of a circulatory disorder, was covered by the Disabilities Act and should be allowed to compete in PGA events with a golf cart.

In 2002, the Russian figure skating pair won the gold medal in the Winter Olympics over the overwhelming crowd favorite Canadian team but a judging controversy that grew into an international scandal prompted the International Skating Union to award a gold medal to the Canadians also.

In 2003, in an audiotape played on Arab TV, a man claiming to be Osama bin Laden called for suicide attacks against the United States and its supporters.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Haiti and urged those already there and who could leave safely to do so.

Also in 2004, two suicide bombings in and near Baghdad killed a reported 100 Iraqis.

In 2005, the White House rejected North Korea's demand for bilateral talks over its nuclear weapons program.

Also in 2005, playwright Arthur Miller, a fiery moralist whose plays include "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible," died at the age of 89.

In 2006, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally sprayed Texas lawyer Harry Whittington with about 200 pellets while hunting for quail, hitting his friend in the face, neck and torso.

Also in 2006, U.S. adventurer Steve Fossett broke the solo flight record when he landed near Bournemouth, England, covering some 24,997 miles after taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida four days earlier.

In 2007, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress that he will move U.S. troops "out of harm's way" if the surge of new soldiers in Iraq is unsuccessful.

Also in 2007, U.S. officials in Baghdad presented evidence that they said indicated the Iranian government was supplying Iraqi Shiite militants with weapons.

And, the Dixie Chicks, a country music trio whose members said they got death threats after criticizing U.S. President George Bush, won five Grammy awards.

In 2008, the Iraqi government accused neighboring Iran of taking over more than 15 oil wells on the Iraq-Iran border. A U.S. report estimated oil smugglers pocketed yearly revenues of nearly $4 billion from Iraqi oil.


A thought for the day: "If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that.

© 2009 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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