The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday. Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2008 with 348 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 English physician Peter Roget, who compiled "Roget's Thesaurus," in 1779; American orator and statesman Daniel Webster in 1782; English author A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne, who wrote "Winnie the Pooh," in 1882; comedian Oliver Hardy of the legendary Laurel and Hardy team, in 1892; actors Cary Grant in 1904 and Danny Kaye in 1913; filmmaker John Boorman in 1933 (age 75); Temptations singer David Ruffin in 1941; and actor Kevin Costner in 1955 (age 53).

On this date in history:

In 1871, William of Prussia was declared the first German emperor.

In 1943, Moscow announced the 16-month Nazi siege of Leningrad was lifted.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi, daughter of the late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, became prime minister of India.

In 1968, the United States and Soviet Union agreed on a draft of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

In 1990, Washington Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in an FBI sting at a downtown hotel and charged with buying and smoking crack cocaine.

In 1991, Eastern Airlines stopped flying and said it would liquidate its assets. The announcement followed a two-year effort to escape bankruptcy.

In 1993, seven people were killed and nearly 70 more injured when two commuter trains collided on a bridge in Gary, Ind.

In 1994, Iran-Contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh issued his final report on the scandal. He blasted former U.S. President George H.W. Bush for his Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of six Iran-Contra defendants.

In 1995, officials in Paris announced the discovery of a magnificent display of Paleolithic cave art in southern France.

In 1996, Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, filed for divorce from Michael Jackson after 20 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

In 1997, Norwegian Borge Ousland completed a 1,675-mile trek across Antarctica, the first time anyone traversed the continent alone.

In 2004, at least 23 people were reported killed when a car bomb exploded in Baghdad.

In 2006, bodies of 36 Iraqis were found in mass graves in two towns north of Baghdad. Officials said many of the victims were police recruits.

In 2007, outgoing U.S. Homeland Security chief John Negroponte told the U.S. Congress that China was headed toward becoming a great military power.

Also in 2007, Venezuelan lawmakers voted to allow President Hugo Chavez to rule by decree for 18 months.

A thought for the day: it was Jeff Pesis who defined hardware as "the parts of a computer that can be kicked."

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