The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2007 with 344 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include soldier and Vermont folk hero Ethan Allen in 1738; explorer and historian John Fremont in 1813; Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in 1824; firearms designer John Browning in 1855; Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, in 1884; fashion designer Christian Dior in 1905; actors Paul Scofield in 1922 (age 85) and Telly Savalas in 1924; comedian Benny Hill in 1924; famed DJ Robert "Wolfman Jack" Smith in 1938; golfer Jack Nicklaus in 1940 (age 67); opera star Placido Domingo in 1941 (age 66); singers Mac Davis in 1942 (age 65) and Billy Ocean in 1950 (age 57); and actors Jill Eikenberry in 1947 (age 60), Robby Benson in 1955 (age 52) and Geena Davis in 1957 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1792, French King Louis XVI was executed in Paris.

In 1861, Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate, 12 days before Mississippi seceded from the Union. He was later president of the Confederate State of America.

In 1924, Vladimir Lenin, architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.

In 1954, the world's first atomic-powered submarine, the Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn.

In 1976, the supersonic Concorde airplane was put into service by Britain and France.

In 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters.

In 1991, Iraq announced that it would use hostages as human shields against allied warplanes.

In 1997, the full U.S. House of Representatives voted 395-28 to reprimand Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., for violating House rules and misleading congressional investigators looking into his possible misuse of tax-exempt donations for political purposes.

Also in 1997, in the face of continuing reports of legally dubious fund-raising practices, the Democratic National Committee announced it would no longer take donations from foreign nationals or from U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies.


In 1998, allegations of U.S. President Bill Clinton's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public when newspapers reported the story.

Also in 1998, Pope John Paul II arrived in Havana for his first visit to Cuba.

In 1999, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari was convicted of masterminding the 1994 shooting death of a ruling party official.

In 2000, a military junta seized power in Ecuador. The next day, following expressions of international concern, the junta leaders turned the government over to the country's vice president.

In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau said Hispanics had moved past African-Americans as the largest minority group in the United States.

In 2004, a U.S. scientist who had toured North Korea nuclear facilities told the U.S. Congress there was evidence they could produce enriched plutonium.

Also in 2004, China ushered in the year of the monkey, a positive sign in Chinese astrology for business and growth.

In 2005, Iraq officials said $300 million was taken from Baghdad's central bank and flown to Lebanon. Its whereabouts was unknown.

Also in 2005, a Muslim holy day was marred by a series of bombings in Iraq that claimed as many as 30 lives. In one incident, an ambulance drove into a wedding party south of Baghdad and blew up, killing as many as 12 people.


In 2006, a Harris poll said the U.S. public was about equally split on the issue of wiretapping United States citizens without court authorization. The tally is 42 percent for it and 45 percent against the practice.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

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