The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 4, the 247th day of 2002 with 118 to follow.

The moon is waning in its last quarter. The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. The evening stars are Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include French novelist and politician Francois Rene de Chateaubriand in 1768; architect Daniel Burnham in 1846; engineer-inventor Lewis Latimer in 1848; composer Darius Milhaud in 1892; novelist and essayist Richard Wright in 1908; radio news commentator Paul Harvey in 1918 (age 84); actor Dick York ("Bewitched") in 1928; dancer/actress Mitzi Gaynor in 1931 (age 71); pro golfer Tom Watson in 1949 (age 53); actress Judith Ivey in 1951 (age 51); comedian Damon Wayans in 1960 (age 42); and actress Ione Skye ("Say Anything"), daughter of pop singer Donovan, in 1971 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1609, navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.

In 1954, the first passage of the fabled Northwest Passage was completed by icebreakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

In 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine African-American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

Also in 1957, the Ford Motor Co. introduced the Edsel automobile.

In 1972, American swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven Olympic gold medals.

In 1980, Iraqi troops seized Iranian territory in a border dispute. The conflict later escalated into all-out war.

In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk proposed a new constitution. It provided for universal voting rights and opened the parliament to all races.

In 1992, Joseph Rauh, one of leading liberals in America for more than half a century, died at age 81.

In 1993, Fatah, the PLO's largest and most moderate faction, endorsed an accord with Israel calling for interim Palestinian self-rule.

In 1995, Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a Republican presidential hopeful, called for English to be declared the official language of the United States.

In 1997, three suicide bombings in a West Jerusalem shopping mall killed four Israelis as well as the bombers.

In 1998, for the first time since news of his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke, President Clinton said he was "sorry" for what he had done.

In 1999, more than 60 people were killed when Chechnyan terrorists detonated a car bomb near an apartment building in Dagestan, Russia.

Also in 1999, the United Nations announced that East Timor had voted for independence rather than remaining a part of Indonesia. As a result, pro-Indonesian militants went on a 5-day rampage, destroying property and killing hundreds of people.

A thought for the day: Enoch Arnold Bennett said, "Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism."

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