The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 14, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Jan. 14, the 14th day of 2008 with 352 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 Capricorn. They include American turncoat Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1741; Thornton Waldo Burgess, author of "Peter Rabbit," in 1874; philosopher and medical missionary Albert Schweitzer in 1875; film director Hal Roach in 1892; novelist John Dos Passos in 1896; English photographer Cecil Beaton in 1904; "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney in 1919 (age 89); actor Guy Williams ("Lost In Space") in 1924; singer Jack Jones in 1938 (age 70); actress Faye Dunaway in 1941 (age 67); astronaut Shannon Lucid in 1943 (age 65); evangelist-turned-actor-and-singer Marjoe Gortner in 1944 (age 64); actor Carl Weathers in 1948 (age 60); filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan in 1949 (age 59); and actor Jason Bateman in 1969 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 1639, the first constitution in the American colonies, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted in Hartford, Conn., by representatives of Wethersfield, Windsor and Hartford.

In 1794, Dr. Jesse Bennett of Edom, Va., performed the first successful Caesarean section.

In 1914, Henry Ford introduced the assembly line method of manufacturing cars, allowing completion of one Model-T Ford every 90 minutes.

In 1943, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill opened a 10-day World War II strategy conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1952, NBC's "Today," the program that started the morning news show format as we know it, premiered.

In 1964, George Wallace was inaugurated as the governor of Alabama, promising his followers, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"

In 1969, a series of explosions aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise off Hawaii killed 10 men.

In 1980, after being released from government control, gold reached a record price, exceeding $800 an ounce.

In 1985, the British pound sank to a record low, $1.11, and the Bank of England raised interest rates to halt the decline.

In 1991, two PLO leaders and a third man were killed in Tunis. Al Fatah, the PLO's main-line faction, blamed a dissident group for the assassinations.

In 1993, David Letterman accepted a multimillion-dollar deal to move his late night talk show to CBS in August after his NBC contract expired.

In 2000, thousands of Cubans marched in Havana to demand that 6-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez be returned to his father in Cuba. The boy's mother had drowned as they tried to enter the United States; the child was turned over to a great-uncle in Miami.

In 2004, U.S. President George Bush outlined a plan to establish a U.S. colony on the moon from where manned expeditions to Mars could be launched.

In 2005, a U.S. Army reservist, Spec. Charles Graner, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing detainees at Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison. He said he didn't regret his actions.

In 2006, the head of a European inquiry into allegations the CIA ran secret detention camps blamed the United States for torture and Europe for ignoring it.

In 2007, Saddam Hussein's half brother and the judge who approved the 1982 killing of 148 Shiite men and boys, were executed by hanging in Baghdad. Saddam was hanged two weeks earlier.

Also in 2007, major flooding forced more than 90,000 people from their homes in southern Malaysia.

A thought for the day: "Truth," the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, "is the reference of a judgment to something outside that stands as its ground."

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