The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 11, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2003 with 111 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Pluto, 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-Fame Coach Tom Landry in 1924; filmmaker Brian DePalma in 1940 (age 63); entertainer Lola Falana in 1946 (age 57); actresses Amy Madigan in 1951 (age 52), Kristy McNichol in 1962 (age 41), and Virginia Madsen in 1963 (age 40); and actor/singer Harry Connick Jr. in 1967 (age 36).

On this date 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 1847, Stephen Foster's first hit, "Oh! Susanna," had its debut at a concert in a Pittsburgh saloon and soon became standard for minstrel troupes.

In 1921, Fatty Arbuckle, one of the foremost comedians of the silent movie days, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of a starlet in an alleged sexual assault during a wild drinking party. Arbuckle was eventually cleared but his career had been ruined.

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.

On Sept. 11, 2001, America was staggered by a monstrous, well-coordinated terrorist assault. A gang of 19 Islamic men 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, 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, most of whom died at the World Trade Center. President George W. Bush pledged to destroy the responsible terrorist organizations as well as the regimes that supported them. Osama bin Laden, a wealthy anti-American Saudi exile operating out of Afghanistan and leader of al-Qaida, a shadowy, far-flung terrorist organization, was identified as the ringleader of the attacks.

In 2002, somber memorial observances were held across the nation on the first anniversary of the attacks as the United States further tightened security in anticipation of more terrorist activity.

Also in 2002, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, under German indictment on 3,000 charges of murder stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was arrested in Pakistan with others allegedly linked to al-Qaida.

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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