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The almanac

By United Press International   |   June 10, 2009 at 3:30 AM
Today is Wednesday, June 10, the 161st day of 2009 with 204 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include actress Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar (best supporting actress, "Gone with the Wind"), in 1895; Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1921 (age 88); Judy Garland in 1922; children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak in 1928 (age 81); attorney F. Lee Bailey in 1933 (age 76); actor Andrew Stevens in 1955 (age 54); model/actress Elizabeth Hurley, in 1965 (age 44); Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski in 1982 (age 27) and actress Leelee Sobieski in 1983 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1652, silversmith John Hull, in defiance of English colonial law, established the first mint in America.

In 1692, in Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist tried in the Salem witch trials, was hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

In 1898, U.S. Marines invaded Cuba in the Spanish-American War.

In 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio.

In 1942, the German Gestapo burned the tiny Czech village of Lidice after shooting 173 men and shipping the women and children to concentration camps.

In 1943, Hungarian Laszlo Biro invented the ballpoint pen.

In 1989, the Rev. Jerry Falwell said his conservative lobbying group, the Moral Majority, had accomplished its goals and would be disbanded.

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted, spewing debris as far as 20 miles away.

In 1992, Texas law officers urged a boycott of Time-Warner and Warner Bros. over a recording by rap artist Ice-T that they said encouraged the shooting of officers.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton froze most financial transactions between the United States and Haiti and suspended commercial flights to the Caribbean nation.

In 1995, Cuba announced the arrest of U.S. financier-turned-fugitive Robert Vesco on spying charges. Vesco had fled the United States in 1972 ahead of embezzlement charges.

In 1998, a jury in Jacksonville, Fla., found the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. liable in the lung cancer death of a smoker. The jury awarded his family $950,000, including $450,000 in punitive damages -- the first such assessment in a smoking-related lawsuit.

In 1999, NATO suspended its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

In 2000, Syrian President Hafez Assad died from a heart attack at age 69. He had ruled Syria since 1970.

In 2003, a three-member Ontario Court of Appeal in Canada ordered that full marriage rights be extended to same-sex couples.

In 2004, Ray Charles, a 12-time Grammy-winning singer-pianist who pioneered the blending of country and R&B, died at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 73.

In 2005, in a landmark civil lawsuit against the tobacco industry, the U.S. government scaled back its demands for penalties from $130 billion to $10 billion. The government had asked for the larger sum to help 45 million U.S. smokers quit smoking.

In 2006, three detainees at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, hanged themselves in the first reported deaths at the facility, prompting calls to close the facility.

In 2007, Israeli planes attacked Gaza, one day after a Palestinian gunman rammed the security border and opened fired in Israel.

Also in 2007, the Iranian government was reported intensifying its domestic crackdown of dissidents by targeting banks, unions and civic groups and accusing women and student groups of seeking to overthrow the government.

In 2008, a massive turnout reported to include several hundred thousand people jammed the streets of Seoul to protest South Korea's decision to resume imports of U.S. beef, which was banned in 2003 after mad cow disease was diagnosed in the United States.


A thought for the day: Joseph Joubert wrote, "Children need models more than they need critics."

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