The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 12, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2008 with 323 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1791; Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, and biologist Charles Darwin, both in 1809; actor Lorne Greene in 1915; Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli in 1923 (age 85); baseball player and sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 (age 82); actor Joe Don Baker in 1936 (age 72); author Judy Blume in 1938 (age 70); former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1942 (age 66); actresses Maud Adams in 1945 (age 63) and Joanna Kerns in 1953 (age 55); actor Arsenio Hall in 1955 (age 53); singer Chynna Phillips in 1968 (age 40); and actress Christina Ricci in 1980 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, was publicly demonstrated with a hookup between Boston and Salem, Mass.

In 1953, the Soviet Union broke off relations with Israel after terrorists bombed the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In 1973, with first release of U.S. prisoners of war in North Vietnam, 116 POWs were flown from Hanoi to the Philippines.

In 1980, the International Olympic Committee rejected a U.S. proposal to postpone or cancel the 1980 Summer Games or move the site from Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

In 1992, a state of emergency was declared after the third winter storm to hit Southern California triggered mudslides and flooding. At least four people were killed.

In 1993, about 5,000 demonstrators marched on Atlanta's State Capitol to protest the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag.

In 1997, The Washington Post reported the Chinese government might have channeled money to the Democratic National Committee in order to influence the Clinton administration.

In 1999, the U.S. Senate acquitted U.S. President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges.

In 2001, a NASA spacecraft landed on the asteroid EROS.

In 2002, the war crimes trial of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic began at The Hague in the Netherlands.

In 2004, South Korean scientists announced they had created the world's first mature cloned human embryos.

Also in 2004, despite a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thousands of couples applied.

In 2005, officials in Pakistan said the death toll from two weeks of torrential rains and snowstorms grew to 278. Water from a broken dam washed away at least five villages.

In 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a coma since suffering a massive stroke Jan. 4, underwent emergency surgery to remove about a third of his colon.

In 2007, a series of bombings, targeting crowded markets, killed at least 90 people in Baghdad as Shiite Muslims marked the first anniversary of a bombing of a major shrine in Samara.

A thought for the day: M.G. Siriam said, "Looking at the proliferation of personal Web pages on the 'Net, it looks like very soon everyone on Earth will have 15 megabytes of fame."

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