The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Saturday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2008 with 326 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States, in 1773; former Secretary of State Dean Rusk in 1909; exotic dancer Gypsy Rose Lee in 1914; Irish playwright Brendan Behan in 1923; actress Kathryn Grayson in 1922 (age 86); television journalist Roger Mudd in 1928 (age 80); singer Carole King in 1942 (age 66); author Alice Walker in 1944 (age 64); actors Joe Pesci in 1943 (age 65), Mia Farrow in 1945 (age 63), Judith Light in 1949 (age 59) and Charles Shaughnessy in 1955 (age 53); and country singer Travis Tritt in 1963 (age 45).


On this date in history:

In 1825, after no presidential candidate won the necessary majority, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams the sixth president of the United States.

In 1900, the solid silver trophy known as the Davis Cup was first put up for competition when American collegian Dwight Filley Davis challenged British tennis players to compete against his Harvard team.

In 1943, in a major World War II strategic victory, the Allies retook Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands from the Japanese.

In 1950, U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., charged the U.S. State Department was infested with communists, touching off the infamous "McCarthy era."

In 1971, an earthquake shook Los Angeles and killed 64 people.

In 1984, Soviet President Yuri Andropov, in power 15 months, died at age 69.

In 1987, Robert McFarlane, former Reagan administration national security adviser, was hospitalized for an overdose of Valium just hours before he was to testify to a presidential commission about the Iran-Contra scandal.

In 1990, the U.S. stock of Perrier water was recalled because of levels of benzene in violation of EPA standards. The recall was later extended worldwide.


In 1991, Lithuanians overwhelmingly voted to secede from the Soviet Union in an independence plebiscite ruled illegal by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1992, 30 people were reported killed in Senegal in the crash of a plane chartered by Air Senegal for Club Mediterranean.

In 1993, violence erupted following the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl victory parade. Fourteen people were arrested.

In 1994, in Cairo, PLO chief Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres initialed an agreement that resolved some contentious issues in the Middle East peace talks.

In 1996, a bomb exploded in a London rail station, killing two and wounding 100. The IRA announced that the Northern Ireland cease-fire was over.

In 2001, nine people were killed when the U.S. submarine USS Greenville collided with a Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Hawaii. The accident took place during a surfacing drill.

In 2003, Egypt said the upcoming Arab League summit wouldn't ask Iraq's Saddam Hussein to step down as some Arab nations had urged. The Egyptian foreign minister said he didn't think any Arab country would "interfere in Iraq's internal affairs."

In 2005, hospitalized Pope John Paul II, recovering from flu-related respiratory problems, missed celebrating mass to begin Lent for the first time in 26 years.


In 2006, U.S. President George Bush said international cooperation had derailed a terrorist plot to fly an airplane into the 73-story Library Tower in Los Angeles.

In 2007, the Pentagon's inspector general told a U.S. Senate committee the Defense Department had tailored intelligence findings on Iraq to suit its audience. Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., called it a "devastating condemnation" of the misuse of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

A thought for the day: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose."

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