The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 12, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Thursday, Sept. 12, the 255th day of 2001 with 110 to follow.

The moon is waxing, moving toward its new phase.

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 Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun, in 1818; newspaperman Charles Dudley Warner in 1829; critic H.L. Mencken in 1880; French entertainer Maurice Chevalier in 1888; comedian Ben Blue in 1901; actress Margaret Hamilton in 1902; U.S. Olympic track star Jesse Owens in 1913; actor Ian Holm and country music singer George Jones, both in 1931 (age 71); circus animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams in 1934; actress Linda Gray in 1940 (age 62); singers Maria Muldaur in 1943 (age 59) and Barry White in 1944 (age 58); and actors Peter Scolari ("Bosom Buddies," "Newhart") in 1954 (age 48), Rachel Ward in 1957 (age 45), and Darren E. Burrows ("Northern Exposure") in 1966 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1609, Henry Hudson discovered what's now known as the Hudson River.

In 1940, near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings, believed to be 15,000 to 17,000 years old, were discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern.

In 1953, six months after the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev succeeded him with his election as first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In 1958, Little Rock High School in Arkansas was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to admit blacks.

In 1969, heavy bombing of Vietnam resumed under orders from President Nixon.

In 1974, military officers deposed Emperor Haile Selassie from the Ethiopian throne he had occupied for more than half-a-century.

In 1977, Steven Biko, leader of South Africa's "Black Consciousness Movement," died of severe head trauma on the stone floor of a prison cell in Pretoria. Six days earlier, he had suffered a major blow to his skull during a police interrogation.

In 1990, the four victorious allies of World War II and the two Germanys formally ended the war, signing a treaty that cleared way for a united Germany on Oct. 3.

In 1992, Endeavour rocketed into orbit on NASA's 50th shuttle flight, a $140 million Japanese-sponsored science mission featuring married astronauts and a menagerie of fish, frogs and other critters.

Also in 1992, tennis great Arthur Ashe, suffering from AIDS, had a heart attack following his arrest at a White House protest on U.S. policy on Haitians.

In 1994, a pilot crashed his small plane on the White House lawn, killing himself and creating an alarm over presidential security.

In 1999, North Korea agreed to stop testing its long-range ballistic missiles. In response, the United States eased sanctions against the Communist state.

In 2001, amid a frantic beehive of activity that followed the attacks the previous day, around-the-clock workers continued to search for unlikely survivors in the World Trade Center wreckage. With President Bush given the go-ahead by a supportive Congress to use all "necessary and appropriate force" needed against those responsible, the U.S. sought international backing for an all-out war on terrorism. While most Middle Eastern leaders joined in deploring the attacks, Iraq's Saddam Hussein called them the result of America's "evil policy."

A thought for the day: Thoreau suggested that charity was valued too highly, adding, "and it is our selfishness which overrates it."

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