The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 24, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2007 with 311 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Wilhelm Grimm, historian and, with his brother Jacob, compiler of "Grimm's Fairy Tales," in 1786; painter Winslow Homer in 1836; John Philip Holland, inventor of the modern submarine, in 1841; Irish author George Moore in 1852; baseball shortstop and Hall of Famer Honus Wagner in 1874; Adm. Chester Nimitz, World War II commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, in 1885; actors Abe Vigoda in 1921 (age 87); James Farentino in 1938 (age 70), Barry Bostwick in 1945 (age 63), James Edward Olmos in 1947 (age 61) and Helen Shaver in 1951 (age 57); Steven Jobs, founder of the Apple computer company, in 1955 (age 53); TV personality Paula Zahn in 1956 (age 52); and the Kienast quintuplets of Liberty Corner, N.J., in 1970 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 1920, a group of Germans organized the National Socialist party, forerunner of the Nazi party later led by Adolf Hitler.

In 1922, Henri Landru, better known as "Bluebeard," was executed in France for killing 10 of his girlfriends.

In 1945, U.S. troops liberated the Philippine city of Manila from the Japanese.

In 1946, Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional an Indianapolis law that defined pornography as discrimination against women.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court defended the right to satirize public figures when it voted 8-0 to overturn a $200,000 settlement awarded the Rev. Jerry Falwell over the parody of him in Hustler Magazine.

In 1989, nine people were killed when a 10-by-40-foot section of a United Airlines 747 ripped away from the jetliner's outer skin while en route from Hawaii to New Zealand.

In 1991, U.S.-led forces began a lightning, multipronged ground assault against Iraq.

In 1992, General Motors announced a record $4.5 billion loss in 1991 and said it will close 21 plants and idle 74,000 workers over four years.

Also in 1992, the U.S Postal Service unveiled two designs for a commemorative stamp honoring Elvis Presley -- one showing him as young rock-and-roll singer, the other at the height of his success in Las Vegas.

In 1993, rock veteran Eric Clapton took home seven Grammys for his emotion-packed "Tears In Heaven" and bluesy "Layla."

In 1995, diver Greg Louganis, who won four gold medals in the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988, revealed he had AIDS.

In 1996, Cuba shot down two unarmed planes flown by pilots belonging to a Cuban exile group who were looking for boat people to rescue.

In 1997, a nationally televised funeral for China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping was held at a military hospital in Beijing.

In 2001, Colin Powell arrived in the Middle East on his first overseas trip as U.S. secretary of State.

In 2002, the Winter Olympics concluded at Salt Lake City, Utah, with the United States winning 34 medals, 10 of them gold, its most medals in Winter Games history and one less than medals champ Germany.

In 2003, at least 260 people were killed in an earthquake in northwest China as the tremor flattened thousands of houses and other buildings. The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

Also in 2003, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the U.N. Security Council declaring that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has missed a "final opportunity" to disarm peacefully.

In 2004, U.S. President George Bush called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in the United States.

Also in 2004, an earthquake struck Morocco, killing about 600 people and injuring hundreds more.

In 2005, Pope John II underwent a tracheotomy at a Rome hospital to ease the 84-year-old pontiff's breathing problems.

In 2006, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of military officers suspected of plotting a coup.

In 2007, a bombing near a Sunni mosque outside Baghdad killed at least 35 people, apparently signaling an end to a downturn in sectarian violence.

A thought for the day: Harry Millner said, "There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but only one view."

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