The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Feb. 12, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2005 with 322 to follow.

This is Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

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

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 82); baseball player and sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 (age 79); actor Joe Don Baker in 1936 (age 69); author Judy Blume in 1938 (age 67); former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1942 (age 63); actresses Maud Adams in 1945 (age 60) and Joanna Kerns in 1953 (age 52); actor Arsenio Hall in 1955 (age 50); singer Chynna Phillips in 1968 (age 37); and actress Christine Ricci in 1980 (age 25).

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.

In 2004, South Korean scientists announced they had successfully created the world's first mature cloned human embryos.

Also in 2004, despite a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thousands of couples applied.

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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