The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 15, 2002 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2002 with 319 to follow.

The moon is waxing, moving toward its first quarter.

The morning star is Mercury.

The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei in 1564; jeweler Charles Tiffany in 1812; feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony in 1820; political leader and diplomat Elihu Root in 1845; philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead in 1861; songwriter Harold Arlen in 1905; actors John Barrymore in 1882, Cesar Romero in 1907, Harvey Korman in 1927 (age 75) and Claire Bloom in 1931 (age 71); astronaut Roger Chaffee, killed in a fire on the ground during a 1967 Apollo I test, in 1935; actress Marisa Berenson in 1948 (age 54); actress Jane Seymour and singer Melissa Manchester, both in 1951 (age 51); "Simpsons" cartoonist Matt Groening in 1954 (age 48); comedian Chris Farley in 1964; and actress Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle on "Xena: Warrior Princess") in 1971 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 260 crewmen and leading to a U.S. declaration of war against Spain.

In 1933, President-elect Franklin Roosevelt narrowly escaped assassination in Miami when a fanatic fired several bullets at him, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak instead.

In 1942, the British bastion of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese army in World War II.

In 1982, the oil-drilling rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in a storm off Newfoundland. All 84 people aboard were lost.

In 1990, President Bush held a drug summit in Colombia with the presidents of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

Also in 1990, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was indicted on eight counts of perjury and drug possession.

In 1991, Iraq announced that it was ready to withdraw from Kuwait but added a number of conditions, including Israel's return of the occupied territories.

Also in 1991, 100 people were killed when a tractor-trailer hauling dynamite overturned and exploded in Thailand.

In 1994, Adm. Frank Kelso, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced his early retirement, saying he'd become a "lightning rod" for the Tailhook scandal.

In 1997, Tara Lipinski, 14, defeated defending women's champion Michelle Kwan to become the youngest U.S. Figure Skating Champion.

In 1999, Turkish agents captured Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan as he left the Greek embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

A thought for the day: Warren Miller said, "Don't take life seriously because you can't come out of it alive."

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