The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 12, 2004 at 2:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2004 with 323 to follow.

This is Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1791; Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, and biologist Charles Darwin, both in 1809; actor Lorne Greene in 1915; Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli in 1923 (age 81); baseball player and sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 (age 78); actor Joe Don Baker in 1936 (age 68); author Judy Blume in 1938 (age 66); former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1942 (age 61); actresses Maud Adams in 1945 (age 59) and Joanna Kerns in 1953 (age 51); actor and talk show host Arsenio Hall in 1955 (age 49); singer Chynna Phillips in 1968 (age 36); and actress Christine Ricci in 1980 (age 24).

On this date in history:

In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, was publicly demonstrated with a hookup between Boston and Salem, Mass.

In 1953, the Soviet Union broke off relations with Israel after terrorists bombed the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv.

In 1973, the first American prisoners of war in North Vietnam were released. 116 POWs were flown from Hanoi to the Philippines.

In 1980, the International Olympic Committee rejected a U.S. proposal to postpone or cancel the 1980 Summer Games or move the site from Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

In 1990, Donald Trump confirmed plans to divorce his wife, Ivana, touching off the battle over his fortune, estimated at $1.7 billion.

In 1992, President Bush formally announced he was running for re-election.

Also in 1992, a state of emergency was declared after the third winter storm to hit Southern California triggered mudslides and flooding. At least four people were killed.

In 1993, about 5,000 demonstrators march on Atlanta's State Capitol to protest the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag.

In 1994, as the 17th Olympic Winter Games opened in Norway, the U.S. Olympic Committee agreed to allow Tonya Harding to compete in the women's figure skating competition, despite claims she was involved in the assault on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan the month before.

In 1996, Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole won the Iowa caucuses, with Pat Buchanan a close second.

In 1997, the Democrats' fund-raising scandal continued to grow. The Washington Post reported the Chinese government might have channeled money to the Democratic National Committee in order to influence the Clinton administration.

Also in 1997, South Korea announced that a secretary with North Korea's ruling Workers (Communist) Party had sought asylum at the South Korean consulate in Beijing, China. Hwang Jang Yop was the highest-level official ever to defect from North Korea.

In 1999, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Clinton of impeachment charges.

In 2001, a NASA spacecraft landed on the asteroid EROS.

In 2002, the war crimes trial of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic began at the Hague in the Netherlands.

In 2003, CIA Director George Tenet said North Korea had an untested ballistic missile that could threaten the Western United States.

A thought for the day: M.G. Siriam said, "Looking at the proliferation of personal Web pages on the 'Net, it looks like very soon everyone on earth will have 15 Megabytes of fame."

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