The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 11, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2002 with 111 to follow.

The moon is waxing.

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 American short story writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) in 1862; author D.H. Lawrence in 1885; Jimmie Davis, former Louisiana governor and songwriter ("You Are My Sunshine") in 1899; University of Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1913; former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1917; Football Hall-of-Famer Tom Landry in 1924 (age 78); filmmaker Brian DePalma in 1940 (age 62); entertainer Lola Falana in 1946 (age 56); actresses Amy Madigan in 1951 (age 51), Kristy McNichol in 1962 (age 40), and Virginia Madsen in 1963 (age 39); and actor/singer Harry Connick Jr. in 1967 (age 35).

On this date in 2001, Sept. 11, America was attacked. Islamic terrorists hijacked four airliners and slammed two of them into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center in the financial district of lower Manhattan, touching off huge explosions and fire and causing both skyscrapers to collapse, trapping not only the many people trying to flee but hundreds of their would-be rescuers as well. Meanwhile, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington and a fourth, believed also headed for Washington, crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers apparently jumped their hijackers. The death toll was placed at more than 3,000 with most of the victims, estimated at more than 2,800, dying at the World Trade Center. Commercial flights were halted or diverted and airports closed immediately after the attacks and Wall Street suspended financial trading until Sept. 17. As the entire nation went on heightened alert, President Bush pledged to destroy the responsible terrorist organizations as well as the regimes that supported them. "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbored them," he said. Osama bin Laden, a wealthy anti-American Saudi exile operating out of Afghanistan and believed to be the leader of Al Queda, a shadowy, far-flung terrorist organization, was targeted by the U.S. as the suspected ringleader of the attacks.

In other memorable dates in history:

In 1777, troops commanded by Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British under Gen. William Howe in the Battle of Brandywine.

In 1841, all members of President John Tyler's Cabinet resigned, except Secretary of State Daniel Webster, in protest of Tyler's veto of a banking bill.

In 1959, Congress passed a bill authorizing food stamps for low-income Americans.

In 1973, the elected Socialist government of Salvador Allende of Chile was toppled in a right-wing military coup supported by the CIA. Allende died, reportedly by his own hand.

In 1985, Pete Rose's 4,192nd hit broke Ty Cobb's 57-year-old career record as the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Diego Padres, 2-0.

In 1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced negotiations to withdraw 11,000 Soviet military advisers from Cuba and eliminate a $2 billion annual subsidy.

Also in 1991, Israel released 51 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners after confirming the deaths of two missing Israeli soldiers in Lebanon.

In 1992, Hurricane Iniki, packing winds gusting to 160 mph, roared ashore on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Also in 1992, six people were killed when two small planes collided in flight over Indianapolis and crashed into a heavily populated area.

And in 1992, a 17-year-old gunman opened fire in a high school hallway in Amarillo, Texas, following a pep rally. Eight students were injured.

In 1996, the Iraqis fired at -- but missed -- two American warplanes patrolling the no-fly zone. Washington ordered U.S. forces to the region.

In 1997, Mother Teresa received the first state funeral accorded a private citizen of India since the death of Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1948. It was attended by foreign heads of state and other dignitaries, including U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In 1998, as the U.S. House voted to release to the public the text of the Starr report, President Clinton told religious leaders that he had sinned.

In 2000, an FTC report accused the entertainment industry of deliberately marketing violence entertainment to children.

A thought for the day: "This is not only an attack on the United States, but an attack on the civilized world," proclaimed German Chancellor Gerhard Schneider, responding to the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults on America.

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