The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, June 8, the 160th day of 2008 with 206 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include German composer Robert Schumann in 1810; architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1867; British geneticist Francis Crick, who helped determine the "double helix" structure of DNA, in 1916; actor Robert Preston in 1918; former first lady Barbara Bush in 1925 (age 83); actor Jerry Stiller in 1927 (age 81); comedian Joan Rivers in 1933 (age 75); actor/singer James Darren in 1936 (age 72); singer Nancy Sinatra in 1940 (age 68); singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs in 1944 (age 64); actress Kathy Baker in 1950 (age 58); actor Griffin Dunne in 1955 (age 53); "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams in 1957 (age 51); comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans in 1958 (age 50); and actress Juliana Margulies in 1966 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1789, James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights, which led to the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


In 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy.

In 1869, Ives McGaffney of Chicago obtained a patent for a "sweeping machine," the first vacuum cleaner.

In 1967, the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship sailing in international waters off Egypt, was attacked by Israeli jet planes and torpedo boats. Thirty-four Americans were killed in the attack, which Israel claimed was a case of mistaken identity.

In 1968, James Earl Ray, an escaped convict, was arrested in London and charged with the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1985, the United Nations said worsening famine in 19 African nations would claim tens of millions of lives despite massive international aid.

In 1987, Fawn Hall, former secretary to Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North, told congressional hearings that to protect her boss, she helped him alter and shred sensitive documents and smuggle papers out of the White House.

In 1990, Israel's nearly 3-month-old government crisis ended when Yitzhak Shamir and his Likud party won support of six right-wing and religious parties to form one of the most right-wing governing coalitions in Israeli history.


Also in 1990, an explosion started a fire aboard the Norwegian tanker Mega Borg, 57 miles off Galveston, Texas. The blaze burned for days as part of tanker's load of 38 million gallons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1992, PLO's chief of European security was killed in Paris less than two years after his former chief was gunned down in Tunisia.

Also in 1992, the U.N. Security Council authorized deployment of an infantry battalion to take over the airport in Sarajevo, Bosnia and open it to humanitarian aid flights.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton received an honorary degree from Britain's Oxford University, which he had attended as a Rhodes scholar.

Also in 1994, two of the major warring factions in Bosnia, the Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian Serbs, signed a cease-fire agreement.

In 1995, U.S. Marines rescued downed American pilot Scott O'Grady in Bosnia.

In 1998, EU foreign ministers urged NATO and the United Nations to consider military action against the Yugoslav Serbs in their crackdown on the rebellious province of Kosovo.

In 1999, the case of five New York City police officers accused in the 1997 torturing of a Haitian immigrant ended with the conviction of one of the officers. A second officer pleaded guilty, three others were acquitted.


In 2003, Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. national security adviser, said that U.S. President George Bush's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger was based on documents found to be forged.

Also in 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he stands by his testimony before the United Nations that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction before the war.

In 2004, police in Milan, Italy, arrested an Egyptian man suspected of masterminding the March 11 Madrid commuter train bombings in which 191 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.

In 2005, after a two-week trial, a jury in Miami found two former America West pilots guilty of operating an aircraft while drunk.

In 2006, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and seven others were confirmed killed after an air strike on a house north of Baquba.

Also in 2006, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York came out on top in a new poll on possible 2008 presidential candidates.


In 2007, leaders of the eight industrialized nations meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany, agreed to consider ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 and to spend $60 billion to treat AIDS and other diseases in the Third World.

A thought for the day: James Madison said, "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

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