The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, June 29, the 181st day of 2008 with 185 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 William Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1861; astronomer George Ellery Hale, founder of the Yerkes and Mount Palomar observatories, in 1868; actor/singer Nelson Eddy in 1901; composer/arranger Leroy Anderson in 1908; Broadway songwriter Frank Loesser in 1910; composer/conductor Bernard Herrmann in 1911; actor Slim Pickens in 1919; "black power" advocate Stokely Carmichael in 1941; actor Gary Busey in 1944 (age 64); actor-U.S. Congressman Fred Grandy in 1948 (age 60); and actress Sharon Lawrence in 1962 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1853, the U.S. Senate ratified the $10 million Gadsden Purchase from Mexico, adding more than 29,000 square miles to the territories of Arizona and New Mexico and completing the modern geographical boundaries of the contiguous 48 states.


In 1933, Fatty Arbuckle, the silent film comedian and one of Hollywood's most beloved personalities until a manslaughter charge ruined his career, died while preparing a comeback. He was 46.

In 1941, Isabella Peron took office as president of Argentina.

In 1946, two years before Israel became a nation, British authorities arrested more than 2,700 Jewish Zionists in an effort to stop terrorism in Palestine.

In 1970, the last U.S. troops were withdrawn from Cambodia into South Vietnam.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment, as then administered by individual states, was unconstitutional.

In 1991, the European Community announced $1.4 billion in aid for the Soviet Union.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the important aspects of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion but upheld most of Pennsylvania's new restrictions on a woman's right to abortion.

Also in 1992, doctors in Pittsburgh reported the world's first transplant of a baboon liver into a human patient. The recipient, a 35-year-old man, survived for three months.

And in 1992, the president of Algeria, Mohammed Boudiaf, was assassinated during a speech.

In 1994, the Japanese Diet elected Tomiichi Murayama prime minister.


Also in 1994, in a taped interview aired on British TV, Prince Charles admitted he had been unfaithful to his estranged wife, Princess Diana.

In 1995, editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post said they were considering publishing the UNAbomber's manifesto in hopes of ending the bombings.

Also in 1995, the U.S. shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir.

In 1999, a Turkish court convicted Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan of treason and sentenced him to death.

In 2003, Hollywood legend Katherine Hepburn died at the age of 96 after a six-decade career in which she won a record four Oscars for best actress.

In 2004, the U.N. war crime tribunal for the former Yugoslavia reported trouble getting authorities to arrest 20 indicted people, including former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

In 2005, the Bush administration gave the new director of national intelligence additional powers, including authority over operations by the FBI and other agencies.

Also in 2005, authorities said the bodies of 13 U.S. troops were recovered from a crashed Chinook helicopter in eastern Afghanistan. Seven others were reported missing.

In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled U.S. President George Bush didn't have authority to set up military tribunals for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices also said the tribunals were illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention.


In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed course and agreed to hear the appeals of detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison on Cuba.

Also in 2007, London police found an explosive device in a car in a parking garage a few hours after a car bomb left outside a night club was disarmed. The discoveries came almost two years after suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured hundreds in London's public transportation system.

And, the American bald eagle, declared endangered in 1967, is again flourishing and no longer imperiled, the U.S. Interior Department announced.

A thought for the day: Walt Whitman wrote, "Whoever degrades another degrades me."

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