The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 25, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2006 with 97 to follow.

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 novelist William Faulkner in 1897; sports columnist Walter "Red" Smith in 1905; Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich in 1906; actor Aldo Ray in 1926; reporter Barbara Walters in 1931 (age 75); actor Robert Walden in 1943 (age 63; actor/producer Michael Douglas in 1944 (age 62); actors Mark Hamill in 1951 (age 55), Christopher Reeve in 1952, Heather Locklear in 1961 (age 45), and Tate Donovan in 1963 (age 43); basketball player Scottie Pippen in 1965 (age 41; actor Will Smith in 1968 (age 38); and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in 1969 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and became the first known European to see the Pacific Ocean.

In 1690, the first American newspaper, called "Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic," appeared in Boston.

In 1789, the first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten were ratified and became known as "The Bill of Rights."

In 1882, the first major league baseball doubleheader was played between the Providence, R.I., and Worchester, Mass., teams.

In 1957, under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine black students entered all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman U.S. Supreme Court justice.

In 1984, Jordan announced it would restore relations with Egypt, something no Arab country had done since 17 Arab nations broke relations with Cairo over the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979.

In 1991, President Alfredo Christiani of El Salvador and five commanders of the guerrilla forces reached an agreement that was seen as prelude to a cease-fire.

Also in 1991, the United States and Israel agreed to postpone consideration of Israel's request for $10 billion to help settle Soviet immigrants.

In 1992, a judge in Orlando, Fla., granted a 12-year-old boy's precedent-setting petition to "divorce" his mother.

Also in 1992, NASA launched a $511 million probe to Mars in the first U.S. mission to the planet in 17 years. Eleven months later, the probe would fail.

And in 1992, HIV-infected basketball star Magic Johnson quit the National Commission on AIDS; he said he was not satisfied with the Bush administration's efforts to fight the disease.

In 1996, Israeli police opened fire on Palestinians rioting over the new tunnel entrance beneath the Temple Mount. The fighting ended four days later with about 70 killed and hundreds injured, Palestinians and Israelis alike.

In 1998, Hurricane Georges battered the Florida Keys with 105-mph winds.

In 2000, Yugoslav voters rejected Incumbent Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in his bid for re-election but he refused to accept the results.

In 2003, one of three women on the Iraqi governing council, Akila al-Hashemi, died after being shot outside her home five days earlier.

Also in 2003, the U.S. House gave the Federal Trade Commission explicit authority to create a national "do not call" directory to protect against telemarketers and other unwanted telephone calls.

In 2004, Hurricane Jeanne struck Florida's east coast with 115 mph winds after battering the Bahamas with high winds and torrents of rain.

Also in 2004, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights said more than 1 million people relocated by the Darfur conflict in Sudan were living in a "climate of fear."

In 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Hurricane Rita pushed more water over crippled New Orleans-area levees that had unleashed devastating flooding to much of the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina a month earlier, but did not create any new structural damage.

A thought for the day: Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso said, "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."

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