The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 20, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2004 with 315 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include American Revolutionary War hero William Prescott in 1726; photographer Ansel Adams in 1902; Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin in 1904; "What's My Line" TV emcee John Daly in 1914; fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt in 1924 (age 80); film director Robert Altman in 1925 (age 79); former race car driver Bobby Unser in 1934 (age 70); singers Nancy Wilson in 1937 (age 67) and Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1941 (age 63); actors Sidney Poitier in 1927 (age 77), Sandy Duncan in 1946 (age 57), Peter Strauss in 1947 (age 56) and Jennifer O'Neill in 1948 (age 56); heiress Patty Hearst Shaw in 1954 (age 50); former basketball player Charles Barkley in 1963 (age 41); actor French Stewart ("3rd Rock from the Sun") in 1964 (age 40); and model Cindy Crawford in 1966 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 1809, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was no greater than that of any individual state of the Union.

In 1848, Karl Marx's influential "Communist Manifesto" was published in London by a group called the Communist League.

In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as Britain's foreign secretary to protest the "appeasement" policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany.

In 1962, U.S. astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He landed safely after three orbits in a Mercury spacecraft.

In 1991, U.S. troops penetrated Iraq, capturing as many as 500 Iraqi soldiers.

Also in 1991, the United States approved a $400 million loan guarantee to Israel for housing Soviet Jewish immigrants, but banned use of the money in the occupied territories.

In 1992, Israeli armored ground forces withdrew from Lebanese villages following a one-day strike. Israel defended the incursion as necessary, but the U.N. secretary general protested the assault.

Also in 1992, an FDA panel urged limiting access to silicone gel-filled breast implants.

And further in 1992, alleged Salvadoran death squad leader Roberto d'Aubuisson died.

In 1996, Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire Republican primary, with Bob Dole a close second.

Also in 1996, a federal court said it would move the Oklahoma City bombing trial to Denver.

And in 1996, former Maryland congressman Kweisi Mfume became head of the NAACP.

In 1998, Tara Lipinski, 15, of the United States became the youngest person ever to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.

In 2002, President George W. Bush said in Seoul, South Korea, that the United States had no intention of attacking North Korea and would work toward reunification efforts.

In 2003, about 100 people were killed and many more were injured when fire broke out during a rock concert at a West Warwick, R.I., nightclub and destroyed it in minutes.

Also in 2003, the Pentagon announced that 1,700 American troops would be sent to the Philippines to take on an extremist Muslim group.

A thought for the day: "Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart." Pablo Casals said that.

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