The Almanac

By United Press International  |  June 26, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, June 26, the 177th day of 2005 with 188 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include supposed baseball pioneer Abner Doubleday in 1819; British physicist and inventor William Kelvin in 1824; novelist Pearl Buck in 1892; German aircraft designer Willi Messerschmitt in 1898; William Lear, developer of the Lear jet, in 1902; actor Peter Lorre in 1904; "Colonel" Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, in 1910; athlete Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias in 1914; actor/musician Chris Isaak in 1956 (age 49); cyclist Greg LeMond in 1961 (age 44); and actors Chris O'Donnell and Sean P. Hayes ("Will & Grace"), both in 1970 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1900, Dr. Walter Reed and his medical team began a successful campaign to wipe out yellow fever in the Panama Canal Zone.

In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force reached France in World War I.

In 1939, film censors approved "Gone With The Wind" but fined Producer David O. Selznick $5,000 for objectionable language in Rhett Butler's famous closing line to Scarlett O'Hara: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

In 1945, the FCC began development of commercial television by allocating airwaves for 13 TV stations.

Also in 1945, the U.N. Charter was signed by representatives of 50 nations.

In 1959, President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada.

In 1974, the bar code, allowing for the electronic scanning of prices, was used for the first time on a pack of gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

In 1976, the CN Tower, the world's tallest freestanding structure (1,815 feet, 5 inches), opened in Toronto.

In 1977, 42 people died in a county jail fire in Columbia, Tenn.

In 1986, a nationwide 26-day strike by 155,000 AT&T telecommunication workers, the first since the Bell System breakup in Jan. 1984, ended with a new contract agreement.

Also in 1986, the Nicaraguan government closed the nation's last opposition newspaper, La Prensa.

In 1990, President Bush discarded his "no new taxes" campaign pledge, saying "it is clear to me" taxes are needed as part of deficit-reduction package.

In 1991, 120 people drowned after an Indonesian trawler and an unidentified ship collided in the Straits of Malacca.

In 1992, Navy Secretary Garrett resigned, accepting responsibility for the so-called "Tailhook" incident involving the harassment of Navy women by naval aviators.

Also in 1992, Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, the target of public wrath for the Rodney King beating, resigned.

In 1993, in response to an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President Bush during a visit to Kuwait, two U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf fired missiles at Iraq's intelligence complex. The main headquarters building was badly damaged.

In 1995, an attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak failed during his visit to Ethiopia.

In 1996, former White House security chief Craig Livingstone told Congress he was behind the FBI background checks, but that his motive was not political.

In 2000, two rival groups of scientists announced they had deciphered the genetic code, the human genome.

In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the pledge of allegiance recited in schools was unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God." The ruling was stayed pending appeal.

Also in 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against WorldCom, the nation's second largest long-distance communications carrier.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a major boost to gay rights advocates by striking down a Texas law forbidding sexual activity between same-sex partners.

In 2004, a group that beheaded two hostages in Iraq said it had captured three Turkish workers and would kill them unless Turkish companies quit Iraq.

A thought for the day: Tennessee Williams wrote, "All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness."

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