The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, June 8, the 159th day of 2007 with 206 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include German composer Robert Schumann in 1810; architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1867; British geneticist Francis Crick, who helped determine the "double helix" structure of DNA, in 1916; actor Robert Preston in 1918; former first lady Barbara Bush in 1925 (age 82); actor Jerry Stiller in 1927 (age 80); comedian Joan Rivers in 1933 (age 74); actor/singer James Darren in 1936 (age 71); singer Nancy Sinatra in 1940 (age 67); singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs in 1944 (age 63); actress Kathy Baker in 1950 (age 57); actor Griffin Dunne in 1955 (age 52); "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams in 1957 (age 50); comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans in 1958 (age 49); and actress Juliana Margulies in 1966 (age 41).

On this date in history:

In 1789, James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights, which led to the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


In 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy.

In 1869, Ives McGaffney of Chicago obtained a patent for a "sweeping machine," the first vacuum cleaner.

In 1967, the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship sailing in international waters off Egypt, was attacked by Israeli jet planes and torpedo boats. Thirty-four Americans were killed in the attack, which Israel claimed was a case of mistaken identity.

In 1968, James Earl Ray, an escaped convict, was arrested in London and charged with the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1985, the United Nations said worsening famine in 19 African nations would claim tens of millions of lives despite massive international aid.

In 1987, Fawn Hall, former secretary to Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North, told congressional hearings that to protect her boss, she helped him alter and shred sensitive documents and smuggle papers out of the White House.

In 1990, Israel's nearly 3-month-old government crisis ended when Yitzhak Shamir and his Likud party won support of six right-wing and religious parties to form one of the most right-wing governing coalitions in Israeli history.

Also in 1990, an explosion started a fire aboard the Norwegian tanker Mega Borg, 57 miles off Galveston, Texas. The blaze burned for days as part of tanker's load of 38 million gallons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.


In 1991, a $12 million parade for the Persian Gulf War veterans, including 8,000 troops and military jets flying overhead, was held in Washington.

In 1992, PLO's chief of European security was killed in Paris less than two years after his former chief was gunned down in Tunisia.

Also in 1992, the U.N. Security Council authorized deployment of an infantry battalion to take over the airport in Sarajevo, Bosnia and open it to humanitarian aid flights.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton received an honorary degree from Britain's Oxford University, which he had attended as a Rhodes scholar.

Also in 1994, two of the major warring factions in Bosnia, the Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian Serbs, signed a cease-fire agreement.

In 1995, U.S. Marines rescued downed American pilot Scott O'Grady in Bosnia.

In 1998, EU foreign ministers urged NATO and the United Nations to consider military action against the Yugoslav Serbs in their crackdown on the rebellious province of Kosovo.

In 1999, the case of five New York City police officers accused in the 1997 torturing of a Haitian immigrant ended with the conviction of one of the officers. A second officer pleaded guilty, three others were acquitted.


In 2003, U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said that President George W, Bush's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger was based on documents found to be forged.

Also in 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he stands by his testimony before the United Nations that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction before the war.

In 2004, police in Milan, Italy, arrested an Egyptian man suspected of masterminding the March 11 Madrid commuter train bombings in which 191 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.

In 2005, after a two-week trial, a jury in Miami found two former America West pilots guilty of operating an aircraft while drunk.

In 2006, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and seven others were confirmed killed after an air strike on a house north of Baquba.

Also in 2006, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York came out on top in a new poll on possible 2008 presidential candidates.

A thought for the day: James Madison said, "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."


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