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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Feb. 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM
Today is Saturday, Feb. 11, the 42nd day of 2012 with 324 to follow.

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


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; boxer Max Baer and film director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, both in 1909; author Sidney Sheldon in 1917; actor Eva Gabor in 1919; King Farouk, Egypt's last monarch, in 1920; actors Kim Stanley in 1925, Leslie Nielsen in 1926, Tina Louise in 1934 (age 78) and Burt Reynolds in 1936 (age 76); songwriter Gerry Goffin in 1939 (age 73); former Florida Gov. and presidential son and brother Jeb Bush in 1953 (age 59); singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow in 1962 (age 50); former Alaska Gov. and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 1964 (age 48); actor Jennifer Aniston in 1969 (age 43); singer/actor Brandy (Norwood) in 1979 (age 33) and actor Taylor Lautner in 1992 (age 20).


On this date in history:

In 1814, Norway claimed independence from the Kalmar Union.

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

In 1929, Lateran Treaty signed with Italy recognizing sovereignty of Vatican City.

In 1941, Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo Choo" awarded the first gold record, given for sales of 1 million copies.

In 1945, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin ended a 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 after 27 years in prison.

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.

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 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 shotgun 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 24,997 miles after taking off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida four days earlier.

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

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 smugglers pocketed yearly revenues of nearly $4 billion from Iraqi oil.

In 2009, the long, bitter political fight in Zimbabwe apparently was resolved when President Robert Mugabe swore in opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

In 2010, the U.S. Defense Department announced an airborne jumbo jet armed with a high-powered laser gun succeeded for the first time in shooting down a short-range ballistic missile traveling at 4,000 mph.

Also in 2010, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to 24 counts in a revised corruption indictment.

In 2011, Hosni Mubarek stepped down after nearly 30 years as president of Egypt, bowing to intense public pressure to resign after 18 days of massive, often violent widespread protests that spawned a reported death toll of more than 800 people. Mubarek, 82, ceded power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Also in 2011, the Obama administration recommended the gradual elimination of government-sponsored mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and proposed options for reducing the role government plays in mortgage dealings.


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.

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