The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 27, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2003 with 338 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1756; author Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) in 1832; labor organizer Samuel Gompers in 1850; composer Jerome Kern in 1885; Adm. Hyman Rickover, "father of the nuclear navy," in 1900; bandleader Skitch Henderson in 1918 (age 85); actors Donna Reed in 1921, Troy Donahue in 1936, James Cromwell in 1942 (age 61); Mimi Rogers in 1956 (age 47) and Bridget Fonda in 1964 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 1606, the surviving conspirators in the "Gunpowder Treason" plot to blow up the English Parliament and the king of England on Nov. 5, 1605, went on trial and were convicted. They were executed four days later.

In 1880, Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.

In 1910, Thomas Crapper, often described as the prime developer of the flush toilet mechanism as it's known today, died in England.

In 1926, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird launched a revolution in communication and entertainment with the first public demonstration of a true television system in London.

In 1967, three American astronauts -- "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee -- died in a fire aboard the Apollo-1 spacecraft during a launch simulation at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

In 1973, the United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.

In 1987, President Reagan acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility in the Iran arms scandal.

In 1991, U.S. planes bombed the pipelines to Kuwaiti oil fields to cut off the flow of oil into the Persian Gulf.

In 1993, President Clinton delayed for six months his campaign pledge to reverse the ban on homosexuals in the military while the issue was studied.

Also in 1993, a disgruntled ex-employee of a Tampa, Fla., insurance company opened fire in a cafeteria, killing three executives and critically wounding two others before fleeing and killing himself.

In 1994, Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator from Virginia. He would win the nomination but lose the election to Democratic incumbent Charles Robb.

In 1995, a book by O.J. Simpson, "I Want to Tell You," asserted his innocence in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

In 1996, France conducted an open-air nuclear test in the South Pacific.

In 1998, in his State of the Union address, President Clinton hailed the fact that the federal government would have a balanced budget in 1999 -- the first in 30 years.

In 2000, President Clinton delivered his final State of the Union address, proclaiming the condition of the nation had never been better.

In 2002, the death toll was put at more than 1,000 from the explosion and fire that struck a Nigerian weapons depot in a crowded residential area of Lagos.

A thought for the day: Rabindranath Tagore wrote that, "Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."

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