The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 27, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2006 with 338 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1756; author Lewis Carroll ("Alice's Adventures in Wonderland") in 1832; labor organizer Samuel Gompers in 1850; composer Jerome Kern in 1885; Adm. Hyman Rickover, "father of the nuclear Navy," in 1900; bandleader Skitch Henderson in 1918; actors Donna Reed in 1921, Troy Donahue in 1936, James Cromwell in 1942 (age 64); Mimi Rogers in 1956 (age 50) and Bridget Fonda in 1964 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1606, the surviving conspirators in the "Gunpowder Treason" plot to blow up the English Parliament and the king of England on Nov. 5, 1605, went on trial and were convicted. They were executed four days later.

In 1880, Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.

In 1910, Thomas Crapper, often described as the prime developer of the flush toilet mechanism as it's known today, died in England.

In 1926, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird launched a revolution in communication and entertainment with the first public demonstration of a true television system in London.

In 1967, three U.S. astronauts -- "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee -- died in a fire aboard the Apollo-1 spacecraft during a launch simulation at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

In 1973, the United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility in the Iran arms scandal.

In 1991, U.S. planes bombed the pipelines to Kuwaiti oil fields to cut off the flow of oil into the Persian Gulf.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton delayed for six months his campaign pledge to reverse the ban on homosexuals in the military while the issue was studied.

Also in 1993, a disgruntled ex-employee of a Tampa, Fla., insurance company opened fire in a cafeteria, killing three executives and critically wounding two others before fleeing and killing himself.

In 1994, Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

In 1995, a book by O.J. Simpson, "I Want to Tell You," asserted his innocence in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

In 1996, France conducted an open-air nuclear test in the South Pacific.

In 1998, in his State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton hailed the fact that the federal government would have a balanced budget in 1999 -- the first in 30 years.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton delivered his final State of the Union address, proclaiming the condition of the nation had never been better.

In 2003, the Bush administration labeled as inadequate Iraq's response to U.N. disarmament demands.

Also in 2003, the head U.N. inspector for atomic weapons said no evidence had been found that Iraq was reviving its nuclear weapons program.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts scored an impressive comeback to win a landslide victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

Also in 2004, Jack Paar, who brought sophisticated humor to late-night TV as the host of "The Tonight Show," died following a long illness. He was 85.

In 2005, U.N. officials in Sudan said about 100 people were killed or injured in the bombing by Sudanese government airplanes of a north Darfur village.

Also in 2005, California officials charged a man with murder for causing a deadly Los Angeles area train crash that killed at least 11 and injured some 200.

And, new seismic activity caused 30 more earthquakes in the same region of the Indian Ocean that was hit by a massive quake and tsunami Dec. 26.

A thought for the day: Rabindranath Tagore wrote that, "Trees are the Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."

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