The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 25, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2008 with 341 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle, a founder of modern chemistry, in 1627; Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1759; soap maker and philanthropist William Colgate in 1783; novelists W. Somerset Maugham in 1874 and Virginia Woolf in 1882; news commentator Edwin Newman in 1919 (age 89); former Philippine President Corazon Aquino in 1933 (age 85); and actors Dean Jones in 1931 (age 77); Leigh Taylor-Young in 1945 (age 63) and Dinah Manoff in 1958 (age 50).

On this date in history:

In 1890, Nellie Bly, a young New York reporter, completed a trip around the world in what then was an astounding time of 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.

In 1915, transcontinental phone service was inaugurated in a hookup between New York and San Francisco.

In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France.

In 1947, gangster Al "Scarface" Capone died at age 48 after suffering from syphilis.

In 1959, the first scheduled transcontinental flight took place, a non-stop American Airlines flight from California to New York.

In 1961, newly inaugurated U.S. President John Kennedy had the first televised presidential news conference.

In 1971, Charles Manson and three women were found guilty of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles.

In 1981, 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days returned to the United States.

In 1984, Apple's Macintosh computer went on sale. Price tag: $2,495.

In 1990, the U.S. Senate failed by four votes to override President George H.W. Bush's veto of a statutory guarantee of asylum for Chinese students in United States.

Also in 1990, a Colombian jetliner with little fuel left crashed in Long Island, N.Y., after missing its first approach to Kennedy Airport. Seventy-three people died.

In 1991, a huge Persian Gulf oil slick began to form as Iraqi forces sabotaged Kuwaiti oil terminals.

In 1993, a man with a rifle opened fire near the main CIA gate in Langley, Va., killing two agency employees and wounding three others. He escaped, but was later captured.

Also in 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton put his wife, Hillary Clinton, in charge of a healthcare task force with a mandate to produce a plan for universal coverage in 100 days.

In 2003, two small planes collided over Denver, killing four people and spilling wreckage and fuel on a neighborhood injuring at least four others.

In 2004, Opportunity, the second of two NASA robot explorers, landed safely on Mars, joining its twin to explore the planet.

In 2005, the death toll from December's 11-nation tsunami in southern Asia was 281,000 with thousands more missing.

In 2006, the militant Islamic group Hamas, calling for destruction of Israel, scored a stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary election.

In 2007, a car and two motorcycles rigged with explosives exploded in three Baghdad sites, killing at least 32 people and injuring at least 80 others.

Also in 2007, Israeli President Moshe Katsav, facing indictment for rape and sexual harassment, was granted a three-month leave of absence.

A thought for the day: Eric Hoffer wrote, "The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything."

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