The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 26, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2004 with 340 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include French philosopher Claude Helvetius in 1715; Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1880; author Philip Jose Farmer in 1918 (age 86); actor Paul Newman in 1925 (age 79); singer Eartha Kitt (age 76) and French film director Roger Vadim, both in 1928; cartoonist, playwright and author Jules Feiffer in 1929 (age 75); sports personality Bob Uecker in 1935 (age 69); actor Scott Glenn in 1942 (age 62); political activist Angela Davis in 1944 (age 60); film critic Gene Siskel in 1946; rock musician Eddie Van Halen in 1957 (age 47); comedian Ellen DeGeneres in 1958 (age 46); and former hockey star Wayne Gretzky in 1961 (age 43).

On this date in history:

In 1788, the first shipload of British convicts arrived in Australia. The establishment of an Australian prison colony was aimed at relieving overcrowding in British prisons.

In 1875, the electric dental drill was patented by George Green of Kalamazoo, Mich.

In 1918, to promote food conservation during wartime, the U.S. government called for one meatless day, two wheatless days and two porkless days each week.

In 1950, India ceased to be a British dominion and became the Republic of India, most populous democracy in the world.

In 1980, six Americans who were hidden for three months in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran were smuggled out of Iran by Canadian diplomats.

In 1988, Australians marked their bicentennial with celebrations and a re-enactment of the arrival in 1788 of the first shipload of prisoners from England.

In 1990, hurricane-force winds pounded the British Isles and much of Northern Europe, killing at least 92 people and knocking out power to nearly 1 million people.

In 1991, Iraq fired Scuds at Israel and Saudi Arabia, but most were intercepted by Patriot missiles.

In 1995, the House passed a constitutional amendment that'd require Congress, beginning in 2002, to approve a federal budget that was balanced.

In 1996, the U.S. Senate ratified SALT II. President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin had signed the arms reduction agreement three years before.

In 1997, the Green Bay Packers, who'd won the first two Super Bowls, finally won a third with a 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots.

In 1998, in response to allegations that he'd had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton declared: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

In 1999, President Clinton welcomed Pope John Paul II to St. Louis.

In 2001, more than 20,000 people were killed when an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale rocked western India.

In 2003 sports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers routed the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in the Super Bowl.

A thought for the day: Bertrand Russell said, "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

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