The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2004 with 334 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 the date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include composer Victor Herbert in 1859; Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, first woman elected to the Senate, in 1878; film director John Ford in 1895; actor Clark Gable in 1901; poet Langston Hughes in 1902; humorist S.J. Perelman in 1904; cabaret singer Hildegarde in 1906 (age 98); film and special effects director George Pal in 1908; actor Stuart Whitman in 1929 (age 75); former Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1931 (age 73); singer Don Everly; rock parodist Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer and comedian Garrett Morris, all in 1937 (age 67); actor Sherman Hemsley in 1938 (age 66); actor/director Terry Jones ("Monty Python's Flying Circus") in 1942 (age 62); singer Rick James in 1952 (age 52); actor Billy Mumy ("Lost in Space") in 1954 (age 50); Princess Stephanie of Monaco and actress Sherilynn Fenn, both in 1965 (age 39); Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, in 1968 (age 36); and actor Pauly Shore in 1970 (age 34l).


On this date in history:

In 1790, the Supreme Court of the United States convened in New York City for its first session.

In 1968, the communist Viet Cong began a major offensive of the Vietnam War with a fierce attack on the South Vietnamese city of Hue.

In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, symbol of the Iranian revolution, returned to his homeland.

In 1990, Attorney General Richard Thornburgh applied for independent counsel to investigate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce.

In 1991, 34 people were killed and 24 more injured when a USAir jet hit a SkyWest plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Also in 1991, at least 1,200 persons were killed in an earthquake that struck Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And in 1991, South African President F.W. De Klerk announced that he would seek repeal of key laws on which the apartheid system was based.

In 1992, President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin held their first meeting since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1993, President Clinton said he's "looking hard" at the government purchasing childhood vaccines and then distributing them free to ensure all children are properly vaccinated.


In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, the former husband of figure skater Tonya Harding, pleaded guilty to his role in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan.

In 1995, the House followed the Senate's lead and approved a measure making it hard for the federal government to pass so-called "unfunded mandates" -- laws that states and cities are required to implement but are given no money for doing so.

In 1996, a telecommunications bill cleared Congress that would lift most restrictions on telephone competition and broadcast station ownership, and also required V-chips in television sets. President Clinton signed the bill into law a week later.

In 2000, Sen. John McCain of Arizona swamped Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary; on the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore defeated former Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey.

In 2001, former President Clinton said he and his wife would return $86,000 in gifts they received in 2000 but would keep $104,000 worth of others they received prior to 2000.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during its descent over the southwestern United States. All seven astronauts aboard were killed.


A thought for the day: "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes said that.

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