The Almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, June 9, the 161st day of 2004 with 205 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include Russian Czar Peter the Great in 1672; composer Cole Porter in 1891; composer, conductor, inventor Fred Waring in 1900; actor Robert Cummings in 1910; guitarist and recording pioneer Les Paul in 1915 (age 89); Robert S. McNamara, former defense secretary and World Bank president, in 1916 (age 88); journalist Marvin Kalb in 1930 (age 74); comedian Jackie Mason in 1931 (age 73); soul singer Jackie Wilson in 1934; sportscaster Dick Vitale in 1939 (age 65); and actors Michael J. Fox in 1961 (age 43), Johnny Depp in 1963 (age 41), Gloria Reuben in 1964 (age 40), and Natalie Portman in 1981 (age 23).


On this date in history:

In 1534, French navigator Jacques Cartier became the first European explorer to discover the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec, Canada.

In 1898, Britain leased Hong Kong from China for 99 years. The territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

In 1934, Donald Duck made his first screen appearance in "The Wise Little Hen."

In 1943, Congress passed an act authorizing employers to withhold income tax payments from salary checks.

In 1973, Secretariat won racing's coveted Triple Crown with a spectacular victory in the Belmont Stakes, first horse to do so since Citation in 1948. Earlier, Secretariat had captured the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

, In 1984, an Italian prosecutor's report linked the Bulgarian secret service to the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Three Bulgarians were indicted but a trial failed to prove charges against them.

In 1989, Chinese officials continued their crackdown on pro-democracy activists with arrests and a sweeping propaganda campaign.

In 1992, the first African-American to sail solo around the world completed his nearly two-year, 27,000-mile journey in Boston.

In 1993, Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito married former diplomat Masako Owada in Tokyo.


In 1994, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to require the Clinton administration to stop participating in the U.N.-sponsored arms embargo against the Bosnian government.

In 1995, Colombian police arrested Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, believed to be a leader of the Cali drug cartel.

In 1997, the leading candidate to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, withdrew from consideration after a past adulterous affair became known.

In 1998, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar was sworn in as Nigeria's new military ruler, one day after the death of Gen. Sani Abacha, who'd seized power in a 1993 military coup. Abacha had died of an apparent heart attack at age 54.

In 1999, Yugoslavia signed an agreement, pledging to withdraw all Serbian troops from Kosovo within 11 days.

In 2003, former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir "Living History" sold 200,000 copies the first day.

Also in 2003, North Korea said it needed to develop nuclear weapons so it could save money by reducing conventional forces and did not intend to use nuclear blackmail.

In 2003 sports, the New Jersey Devils defeated Anaheim in seven games to win the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.


A thought for the day: Henri-Frederic Amiel defined charm as "the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves."

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