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The almanac

By United Press International   |   May 25, 2013 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013 with 220 to follow.

The moon is full. Morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include poet/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1803; YMCA leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Mott in 1865; dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in 1878; aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky in 1889; Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito in 1892; heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney in 1897; humorist and publisher Bennett Cerf in 1898; songwriter Hal David in 1921; actor Claude Akins in 1926; spy novelist Robert Ludlum in 1927; opera singer Beverly Sills (born Belle Miriam Silverman) in 1929; basketball Hall of Fame member K.C. Jones in 1932 (age 81); Canadian writer W.P. Kinsella in 1935 (age 78); actors Dixie Carter in 1939 and Ian McKellen, also in 1939 (age 74); singer/actor Leslie Uggams and singer Jessi Colter, both in 1943 (age 70); Frank Oz (born Richard Frank Oznowicz) director, actor, puppeteer (Miss Piggy of The Muppets), in 1944 (age 69); actors Karen Valentine in 1947 (age 66) and Connie Sellecca in 1955 (age 58); Mike Myers in 1963 (age 50), Anne Heche in 1969 (age 44) and Cillian Murphy in 1976 (age 37); professional football player Brian Urlacher in 1978 (age 35).


On this date in history:

In 1787, the first regular session of the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

In 1878, "H.M.S. Pinafore," an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, opened in London.

In 1925, John Scopes was indicted for teaching the theory of evolution in a Tennessee high school.

In 1935, winding up his legendary career with the Boston Braves, Babe Ruth hit his 714th and last home run in his final game. The home run record stood for 39 years until Hank Aaron, also with the Braves (although in Atlanta), broke it in 1974.

In 1949, Chinese communist forces entered Shanghai as Nationalist troops abandoned the city and prepared to move to the island of Formosa, now called Taiwan.

In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress of the plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

In 1977, the first installment of George Lucas' "Star Wars" film series was released.

In 1979, the crash of an American Airlines DC-10 on takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport killed 275 people.

In 1986, 5 million people formed a broken 4,000-mile human chain from Los Angeles to New York in Hands Across America, to benefit the nation's homeless. The event raised $24.5 million.

In 1991, Cuban soldiers withdrew from Angola after 16 years of fighting South Africa and U.S.-backed rebels.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to establish a war-crimes tribunal to deal with atrocities in the civil war in Bosnia.

In 1994, after living 20 years in exile, mostly in the United States, Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to his homeland. He had been expelled after "The Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison camp system, was published in the West in 1974.

In 1997, mutinous soldiers seized power in Sierra Leone.

In 1999, a report by a U.S. House of Representatives committee on espionage said China stole information on the most advanced U.S. nuclear weapons.

In 2003, the Israeli Cabinet officially accepted the Palestinian claim to eventual statehood.

In 2006, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, former officers of Enron Corp., were convicted in Houston federal court of conspiracy and securities fraud.

In 2007, the United States sent supplies to Lebanon to help government troops fighting al-Qaida-backed militants at a Palestinian refugee camp. At least 58 combatants were killed in what was described as the worst fighting since the country's 1975-90 civil war.

In 2008, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft made a smooth landing on Mars, completing a nine-month, 422-million-mile journey, setting down in the planet's frigid polar region where scientists hoped to find water.

Also in 2008, Gen. Michel Suleiman, top man in the Lebanese military, was elected president, first move in a shared-power program approved by the government and the Hezbollah Shiite militant group and ending an 18-month political stalemate.

In 2009, despite international warnings, North Korea reported it had launched a second nuclear missile test. Officials insisted they were only boosting self-defense capabilities.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border and increase law enforcement spending to reduce drug smuggling.

In 2011, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" broadcast its final original episode after 25 years on the air.

In 2012, an attack by government forces in the Houla area of Syria killed 108 people, including 49 children. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon later called it an "appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force."

Also in 2012, private space company SpaceX's Dragon capsule became the first commercial cargo vessel to visit the International Space Station.


A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Good men must not obey the laws too well."

© 2013 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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