The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 23, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2003 with 99 to follow.

This is the first day of fall.

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 Virgo. They include Roman Emperor Augustus in 63 B.C.; educator William McGuffey, author of the McGuffey "eclectic readers" for school children, in 1800; feminist and presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull in 1838; surgeon William Halsted, who first introduced operations for hernia and breast cancer, in 1852; poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters in 1869; journalist Walter Lippmann in 1889; actor Walter Pidgeon in 1897; actor Mickey Rooney in 1920 (age 83); jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in 1926; soul singer/pianist Ray Charles in 1930 (age 73); singer Julio Iglesias in 1943 (age 60); actors Paul Peterson in 1945 (age 58) and Mary Kay Place in 1947 (age 56); rock star Bruce Springsteen in 1949 (age 54); actors Jason Alexander in 1959 (age 44) and Elizabeth Pena in 1961 (age 42); and singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco in 1970 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1779, the USS Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated British frigate HMS Serapis in a battle off the coast of Scotland.

In 1806, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and back.

In 1846, German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory. Neptune generally is the eighth planet from the sun.

In 1950, Congress adopted the Internal Security Act, which provided for the registration of communists. It was ruled later unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1966, A Rolling Stones concert at England's Royal Albert concert hall was halted temporarily when screaming girls attacked Mick Jagger onstage. The riotous enthusiasm of the fans resulted in a ban of pop concerts at the hall.

In 1973, Juan Peron was again elected president of Argentina after 18 years in exile. His second wife, Isabel, became vice president and succeeded him when he died 10 months later.

In 1985, nine days of street fighting in Tripoli, Lebanon, left 183 people dead.

In 1991, 44 U.N. inspectors were detained in Baghdad after attempting to remove secret Iraqi plans for building nuclear weapons. They were freed five days later.

In 1992, the worst storm in years struck southeastern France, triggering flash flooding that left 34 people dead and 50 missing.

In 1993, the Israeli Knesset approved the peace agreement with the PLO.

Also in 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltin announced presidential elections in June 1994.

And in 1993, the International Olympic Committee chose Sydney, Australia, as the site for the Summer Olympics in the year 2000.

In 1994, the U.N. Security Council voted to lift some sanctions against the former Yugoslavia.

Also in 1994, presidential spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers survived the latest White House reshuffle. She would resign a couple of months later.

In 1999, Russian planes began three days of attacks on various targets in Chechnya, in response to several deadly bombings in Moscow and other Russian cities, apparently carried out by terrorists from the breakaway republic.

Also in 1999, NASA announced it had lost communication with a Mars probe that was to have entered orbit around the Red Planet that day. The probe apparently had broken up.

In 2001, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., the nation remained on increased alert, the hunt for possible suspects continued in this country and troops in Afghanistan searched for Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network. The FAA meanwhile halted crop dusting activities, fearing they might be used to spread toxic substances.

A thought for the day: Indian Bengali poet Sir Rabindranath Tagore said,

"The artist is the lover of Nature,

"therefore he is her slave and her master."

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