The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2006 with 99 to follow.

This is the first day of autumn.


This also is the first day of Ramadan.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Roman Emperor Augustus in 63 B.C.; educator William McGuffey, author of the McGuffey "eclectic readers" for school children, in 1800; feminist and presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull in 1838; surgeon William Halsted, who introduced operations for hernia and breast cancer, in 1852; poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters in 1869; journalist Walter Lippmann in 1889; actor Walter Pidgeon in 1897; actor Mickey Rooney in 1920 (age 86); jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in 1926; soul singer/pianist Ray Charles in 1930; singer Julio Iglesias in 1943 (age 63); actors Paul Peterson in 1945 (age 61) and Mary Kay Place in 1947 (age 59); rock star Bruce Springsteen in 1949 (age 56); actors Jason Alexander in 1959 (age 46) and Elizabeth Pena in 1961 (age 45); and singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco in 1970 (age 36).


On this date in history:

In 1779, the USS Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated British frigate HMS Serapis in a battle off the coast of Scotland.

In 1806, U.S. explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast and back.

In 1846, German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory. Neptune generally is the eighth planet from the sun.

In 1950, Congress adopted the Internal Security Act, which provided for the registration of communists. It was ruled later unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1966, a Rolling Stones concert at England's Royal Albert concert hall was halted temporarily when screaming girls attacked Mick Jagger onstage. The riotous enthusiasm of the fans resulted in a ban of pop concerts at the hall.

In 1973, Juan Peron was again elected president of Argentina after 18 years in exile. His second wife, Isabel, became vice president and succeeded him when he died 10 months later.


In 1985, nine days of street fighting in Tripoli, Lebanon, left 183 people dead.

In 1991, 44 U.N. inspectors were detained in Baghdad after attempting to remove secret Iraqi plans for building nuclear weapons. They were freed five days later.

In 1992, the worst storm in years struck southeastern France, triggering flash flooding that left 34 people dead and 50 missing.

In 1993, the Israeli Knesset approved the peace agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

In 1994, the U.N. Security Council voted to lift some sanctions against the former Yugoslavia.

In 1999, Russian planes began three days of attacks on various targets in Chechnya, in response to several bombings in Moscow and other Russian cities.

In 2001, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States, the nation remained on increased alert for possible suspects continued in this country and troops in Afghanistan searched for Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network. The FAA meanwhile halted crop-dusting activities, fearing they might be used to spread toxic substances.

In 2003, Thai police reportedly foiled an al-Qaida plot to shoot down an El Al passenger jet with a surface-to-air missile at Bangkok's airport.

In 2004, Haiti's death toll from flooding caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne could top 2,000 according to a Haitian civil defense official.


Also in 2004, a classified report for the U.S. Congress says security screeners at 15 U.S. airports missed weapons and explosives being smuggled aboard aircraft by undercover agents during a series of tests.

In 2005, a reported 24 people were killed when a bus carrying Texas nursing home evacuees from Hurricane Rita was destroyed by an explosion and fire near Dallas.

Also in 2005, a national poll says fewer than half of the American public believes the United States will win the Iraq war.

A thought for the day: Indian Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore said, "The artist is the lover of Nature, therefore he is her slave and her master."

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