The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, June 22, the 174th day of 2008 with 192 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English adventure novelist H. Rider Haggard ("King Solomon's Mines," "She") in 1856; German novelist Erich Remarque ("All Quiet on the Western Front") in 1898; movie director Billy Wilder ("Some Like It Hot") in 1906; author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, in 1906; movie producer Mike Todd ("Around The World In 80 Days") in 1907; fashion designer Bill Blass in 1922; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in 1933 (age 75); singer/actor Kris Kristofferson in 1936 (age 72); TV reporter Ed Bradley in 1941; actresses Meryl Streep and Lindsay Wagner, both in 1949, (age 59); actor Freddie Prinze in 1954; pop singer Cyndi Lauper in 1953 (age 55); and actress Tracy Pollan in 1960 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1807, the U.S frigate Chesapeake was fired upon and then boarded by the crew of the British battleship Leopold about 40 miles east of Chesapeake Bay.

In 1918, 53 circus performers and many circus animals were killed when an empty troop train rear-ended the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus train, which was stopped in Ivanhoe, Ind., to fix its brakes.

In 1937, Joe Louis knocked out Jim Braddock in the eighth round to become the world heavyweight boxing champion. He was the first African-American champ since Jack Johnson lost his title in 1915.

In 1940, France fell to Germany in World War II.

In 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

In 1965 movie mogul David O. Selznick, producer of "Gone With The Wind," died at age 62.

In 1969, show business legend Judy Garland died of an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 47.

In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pledge to try to avoid nuclear war.

In 1977, John Mitchell became the first former U.S. attorney general to go to jail when he entered a federal prison to serve time for Watergate crimes.


In 1990, South African police tightened security around President Frederik Willem de Klerk and detained 11 right-wing activists after a published report detailed an alleged plot to assassinate de Klerk and black nationalist Nelson Mandela.

In 1991, the South African government, the Inkatha Freedom party and ANC met for the first time in Johannesburg to discuss a way to end factional violence.

In 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the United States wasn't planning any invasion of Iran even though the country supported terrorists and was developing nuclear weapons.

Also in 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered to cede responsibility for security in some West Bank and Gaza Strip areas to the Palestinians.

In 2004, a South Korean translator was beheaded by kidnappers in Iraq after his country refused to pull its troops.

Also in 2004, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's autobiography "My Life" was published to an awaiting audience of readers so great the publisher ordered a second printing the next day.

In 2005, China's largest state-controlled oil company made an unsolicited $18.5 billion bid for U.S. oil giant Unocal. Forty-one members of Congress, from both parties, urged an investigation.

In 2006, a New York Times report said the U.S. government had for years used a database of international financial transactions to trace money going to terrorists.


Also in 2006, reports said flooding and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi claimed at least 195 lives with another 128 people missing.

In 2007, North Korea officials told the United States it was prepared to shut down its primary nuclear reactor after a problem over frozen funds was settled.

Also in 2007, at least 25 civilians were killed when NATO forces responded with an airstrike to an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

A thought for the day: George Jean Nathan wrote, "It may be said that artist and censor differ in this wise: that the first is a decent mind in an indecent body and that the second is an indecent mind in a decent body."

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