The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 7, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, June 7, the 159th day of 2008 with 207 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include British fashion-plate George "Beau" Brummell in 1778; French post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin in 1848; bandleader Glen Gray in 1906; actor-singer Dean Martin in 1917; actress Jessica Tandy in 1909; Gwendolyn Brooks, the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, in 1917; singer Tom Jones in 1940 (age 68); talk-show host Jenny Jones in 1946 (age 62); actor Liam Neeson in 1952 (age 56); singer/songwriter Prince in 1958 (age 50), and former tennis player Anna Kournikova in 1981 (age 27).

On this date in history:

In 1864, Republican delegates meeting in Baltimore renominated Abraham Lincoln as president. His running mate was Andrew Johnson.

In 1942, Japanese forces occupied Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. U.S. forces retook the islands one year later.

In 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law banning contraceptives.

In 1975, the first videocassette recorder went on sale to the public.

In 1982, Israeli jets bombed central Beirut while Israeli ground forces captured Beaufort Castle and surrounded the Lebanese city of Sidon.

In 1983, one day after Nicaragua expelled three U.S. diplomats, the Reagan administration ordered six Nicaraguan consulates closed and expelled six Nicaraguan diplomats.

In 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk lifted a 4-year-old nationwide state of emergency in all but the strife-torn Indian Ocean province of Natal.

In 1992, a British newspaper reported that Princess Diana, in despair over her marriage to Prince Charles, made five attempts at suicide and had suffered from depression-linked illnesses.

In 1996, Max Factor, who pioneered smudge-proof lipstick, died.

In 2002, U.S. missionary Martin Burnham, captured in the Philippines by a Muslim group more than a year earlier, was fatally shot during a rescue attempt.

In 2003, four German peacekeepers were killed and 31 others hurt when a bomb exploded near a bus in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 2004, a classified U.S. Department of Defense report said that the United States, under national security considerations, wasn't bound by international laws prohibiting torture.

In 2005, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

In 2006, Iraq's Health Ministry reported that Baghdad's death toll due to violence in the city had surpassed 6,000 for the year.

In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing legislation easing restrictions on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research but U.S. President George Bush later vetoed the bill.

Also in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a joint venture with the United States on a European missile shield.

A thought for the day: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Talent develops in quiet, Character in the torrent of the world."

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