The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 26, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2008 with 309 to follow.

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

Those born this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include French novelist and poet Victor Hugo in 1802; Levi Strauss, who created the world's first pair of jeans, in 1829; American frontiersman William "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1846; surgeon and cornflakes developer John Kellogg in 1852; actors Jackie Gleason in 1916, Tony Randall in 1920 and Betty Hutton in 1921; R&B pianist Antoine "Fats" Domino in 1928 (age 80); and singer Johnny Cash in 1932.

On this date in history:

In 1531, an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed an estimated 20,000 people.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte and 1,200 men left his exile on the Isle of Elba to start his 100-day campaign to regain France.

In 1935, Germany began operation of its air force, the Luftwaffe, under Reichmarshal Hermann Goering.

In 1984, the last U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force left Beirut. Some 250 of the original 800 Marines lost their lives during the problem-plagued 18-month mission in the war-torn Lebanese capital.

In 1991, U.S. Marines entered Kuwait City as Iraqi troops retreated.

In 1992, a U.N. report accused Iraq of systematic human rights violations including "brutal torture" and "widespread arbitrary and summary executions" during its occupation of Kuwait.

In 1993, a powerful bomb exploded in the parking garage below the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

In 1994, 11 members of the Branch Davidian religious cult were acquitted of murder and conspiracy charges stemming from the 1993 federal raid and siege at the compound near Waco, Texas.

In 1995, China agreed to enforce copyright laws, thus avoiding threatened U.S tariffs on certain imports.

In 1997, the Israeli Cabinet approved development of a large Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, a traditionally Arab area.

In 1998, a federal jury in Amarillo, Texas, ruled in favor of Oprah Winfrey in a lawsuit filed against her by Texas cattlemen. They said she had caused beef prices to fall with her 1996 talk show about "mad cow" disease.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted its nationwide ban on protests that interfere with abortion clinic business.

Also in 2003, a Colombian army Black Hawk helicopter searching for guerrillas crashed in the northern Colombia mountains, killing all 23 people aboard.

In 2004, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure requiring child safety locks be supplied with most handguns sold in the United States.

In 2005, Bank of America acknowledged it lost computer tapes containing account information on 1.2 million federal employee credit cards, including those of some U.S. senators.

Also in 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he wanted his parliament to change the constitution to allow multiple candidates in presidential elections.

In 2006, the Winter Olympic Games ended in Turin, Italy, with the United States finishing second in the overall medal derby. Germany won the most medals, 29, of which 11 were gold. The U.S. team won 25 medals, including nine golds. Canada, Austria and Russia came next.

In 2007, the death toll from a fire aboard an Indonesian ferry that later sank rose to 48 with scores of people missing off Jakarta.

A thought for the day: Victor Hugo wrote, "The learned man knows that he is ignorant."

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