The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 3, 2002 at 4:45 AM
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Today is Thursday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2002, with 362 to follow.

The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.

The morning star is Jupiter.

The evening stars are Mars and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include feminist and abolitionist Lucretia Mott in 1793; British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1883; J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, in 1892; actor Ray Milland in 1908; entertainer Victor Borge in 1909; Maxine Andrews of the Andrews Sisters trio in 1918; actors Robert Loggia in 1930 (age 72) and Dabney Coleman in 1932 (age 70); Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull in 1939 (age 63); actress Victoria Principal in 1950 (age 52); actor/director Mel Gibson in 1956 (age 46); and actress Danice McKellar ("The Wonder Years") in 1975 (age 27).

On this date in history:

In 1777, the Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, N.J.

In 1938, the first March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized.

In 1939, Gene Cox, 13, became the first female congressional page.

In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the Union.

In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist.

In 1967, Jack Ruby, who shot and killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died of cancer in Dallas.

In 1969, police at Newark, N.J., confiscated a shipment of the John Lennon-Yoko Ono albums "Two Virgins" because the cover photo, featuring full frontal nudity, violated pornography statues.

In 1990, deposed Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega left his refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City and surrendered to U.S. troops. He was whisked to Florida to face narcotics trafficking charges.

In 1991, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was removed from the list of diseases that would automatically bar an infected person from entering the United States.

In 1993, President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the START II treaty reducing strategic nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2000, peace talks between Israeli and Syrian leaders opened in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

In 2001, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percent to stem an economic slowdown.

A thought for the day: Henry David Thoreau said, "Be true to your work, your word, and your friend."

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