The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2008 with 360 to follow.

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


Those born on this date were under the sign of Capricorn. They include Joan of Arc in 1412; archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the ruins of ancient Troy, in 1822; poet Carl Sandburg in 1878; silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix in 1880; former Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn, D-Texas, in 1882; actress Loretta Young in 1913; actor Danny Thomas in 1914; pollster Louis Harris in 1921 (age 87); bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs in 1924 (age 84); auto executive John DeLorean in 1925; author E.L. Doctorow in 1931 (age 77); actress Bonnie Franklin in 1944 (age 64); actor Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") in 1955 (age 53); and filmmaker John Singleton in 1968 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1759, George Washington married widow Martha Dandridge Custis.

In 1838, in Morristown, N.J., Samuel F.B. Morse and his partner, Alfred Vail, publicly demonstrated their new invention, the telegraph, for the first time.

In 1912, New Mexico joined the United States as the 47th state.

In 1919, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, died at the age of 60.

1925, Paavo Nurmi, known as the "Flying Finn" and regarded as the greatest runner of his day, set world records in the mile and 5,000-meter run within the space of one hour in his first U.S. appearance, an indoor meet at New York City's new Madison Square Garden.

In 1942, a Pan American Airways plane arrived in New York, completing the first around-the-world flight by a commercial airliner.

In 1950, Britain formally recognized the communist government of China.

In 1984, the first test-tube quadruplets, all boys, were born in Melbourne, Australia.

In 1993, dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev died at age 54 of cardiac complications; his doctor later confirmed Nureyev had AIDS.


Also in 1993, jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie died of cancer at age 75.

And in 1993, it was announced that Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito would marry a 29-year-old Foreign Ministry official, a commoner, in June.

In 1994, U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right knee by a man who then fled. The attack, which forced Kerrigan to withdraw from the U.S. Figure Skating Championship, was traced to four men with links to her leading rival, Tonya Harding.

In 1998, some 300 people were reported to have been massacred in the past several days in Algeria's bloody civil war.

In 1999, an agreement ended the six-month player lockout by owners of National Basketball Association teams. The labor dispute had threatened to wipe out the 1998-99 season.

In 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted mistakes were made in the war on terror but he said actions were taken for the right reasons -- to ensure the spread of freedom and democracy.

Also in 2004, a London newspaper said Princess Diana claimed in a letter written 10 months before her 1997 death that Prince Charles was plotting to kill her.


In 2005, a Texas appeals court overturned the murder conviction of Andrea Yates, the Houston-area woman who drowned her five children in their bathtub. The court, which ordered a new trial, cited judicial error.

In 2006, rescuers worked through the night in an effort to reach Muslim pilgrims trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. At least 53 people were reported dead and 64 injured.

In 2007, Iraqi military officials said at least 30 people died in a fight between soldiers and Sunni insurgents at a fake military checkpoint in Baghdad.

Also in 2007, Somalis raged through the streets of Mogadishu throwing rocks at the Ethiopian troops who drove Islamist forces out of the capital.

A thought for the day: "Problems are only opportunities in work clothes," Henry Kaiser once said.

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