The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2006 with 333 to follow.

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


Those born on the date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include composer Victor Herbert in 1859; Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, first woman elected to the Senate, in 1878; film director John Ford in 1895; actor Clark Gable in 1901; poet Langston Hughes in 1902; humorist S.J. Perelman in 1904; cabaret singer Hildegarde in 1906; film and special effects director George Pal in 1908; actor Stuart Whitman in 1929 (age 77); former Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1931 (age 75); singer Don Everly in 1937; rock parodist Ray "Dr. Hook" Sawyer and comedian Garrett Morris, also in 1937 (age 69); actor Sherman Hemsley in 1938 (age 68); actor/director Terry Jones ("Monty Python's Flying Circus") in 1942 (age 64); singer Rick James in 1952; actor Billy Mumy ("Lost in Space") in 1954 (age 52); Princess Stephanie of Monaco and actress Sherilynn Fenn, both in 1965 (age 41); Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, in 1968 (age 38); and actor Pauly Shore in 1970 (age 36).


On this date in history:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened in New York City for its first session.

In 1968, the communist Viet Cong began a major offensive of the Vietnam War with a fierce attack on the South Vietnamese city of Hue.

In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, symbol of the Iranian revolution, returned to his homeland.

In 1990, U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh applied for independent counsel to investigate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce.

In 1991, 34 people were killed and 24 more injured when a USAir jet hit a SkyWest plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Also in 1991, at least 1,200 people were killed in an earthquake that struck Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And in 1991, South African President F.W. De Klerk announced that he would seek repeal of key laws on which the apartheid system was based.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton said he's "looking hard" at the government purchasing childhood vaccines and then distributing them free to ensure all children are properly vaccinated.

In 1995, the House followed the Senate's lead and approved a measure making it hard for the federal government to pass so-called "unfunded mandates" -- laws that states and cities are required to implement but are given no money with which to do so.


In 1996, a telecommunications bill cleared Congress that would lift most restrictions on telephone competition and broadcast station ownership and also required V-chips in television sets. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law a week later.

In 2000, Sen. John McCain of Arizona swamped Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary; on the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore defeated former Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey.

In 2001, former President Bill Clinton said he and his wife would return $86,000 in gifts they received in 2000 but would keep $104,000 worth of others they received prior to 2000.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during its descent over the southwestern United States. All seven astronauts aboard were killed.

In 2004, suicide bombings targeting the two main Kurdish party headquarters in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil killed 100 people and injured many others.

Also in 2004, Saudi Arabian officials said Sunday as many as 244 people were trampled during the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. An equal number of people were injured.

In 2004, during the Super Bowl halftime show, Justin Timberlake tore off part of Janet Jackson's top garment, exposing her right breast and touching off strong criticism, a Federal Communications Commission investigation and a hefty fine for CBS. Timberlake apologized, blaming it on "a wardrobe malfunction."


In 2005, Pope John Paul II was hospitalized for breathing problems and the flu.

Also in 2005, the Pentagon was reported moving to retroactively increase the death benefit for survivors of soldiers killed in combat to as much as $500,000.

A thought for the day: "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes said that.

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