The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, Sept. 5, the 249th day of 2008 with 117 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include French King Louis XIV in 1638; outlaw Jesse James in 1847; marketing research engineer A.C. Nielsen in 1897; movie producer Darryl F. Zanuck in 1902; Hungarian-born author Arthur Koestler in 1905; retired Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker in 1927 (age 81); comedian Bob Newhart in 1929 (age 79); singer/actress Carol Lawrence in 1934 (age 74); actors William Devane in 1937 (age 71), Raquel Welch in 1940 (age 68), Dennis Dugan in 1946 (age 62) and Michael Keaton in 1951 (age 57); and rock musician Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank Zappa, in 1969 (age 39).


On this date in history:

In 1774, the first Continental Congress convened in secret in Philadelphia.

In 1882, 10,000 workers marched in the first Labor Day parade in New York City.

In 1877, Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was fatally bayoneted by a U.S. soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse at Fort Robinson, Neb. A year earlier, Crazy Horse was among the Sioux leaders who defeated George Armstrong Custer's Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana Territory.

In 1935, singing cowboy Gene Autry starred in his first Western feature "Tumbling Tumbleweeds."

In 1972, Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic Village outside Munich, West Germany, and killed 11 Israeli athletes and six other people.

In 1975, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of mass murderer Charles Manson, failed in an attempt to shoot U.S. President Gerald Ford.

In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter began a Middle East peace conference at Camp David, Md.

In 1991, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega went on trial in Miami on money laundering and drug-trafficking charges. He was eventually convicted.

Also in 1991, six BCCI officials and a Medellin drug cartel leader were charged with laundering cocaine profits through the bank from 1983-89.


In 1995, France conducted an underground nuclear test at the Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. It was the first of several -- all of which were met by protests worldwide.

In 1996, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and two others were convicted in New York of planning to blow up jetliners.

In 1997, at least 172 people were slain in Algeria in three incidents believed linked to the country's upcoming election and to the long, though sporadically fought, civil war.

Also in 1997, Mother Teresa died at age 87.

And further in 1997, in an unusual television speech, Britain's Queen Elizabeth acknowledged the public expression of grief over Princess Diana's death and expressed her own admiration for her former daughter-in-law.

In 2001, Mexican President Vicente Fox traveled to Washington to ask the Bush administration for a U.S. agreement to legalize the status of 3.5 million Mexicans who entered the United States illegally.

In 2002, an attempted assassination of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai failed when a gunman missed him after opening fire on his car.

In 2003, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, speaking in Iraq, said "impressions" of mounting Iraqi violence were being created by negative news media coverage.


In 2004, two weeks after Hurricane Charley hit Florida, Hurricane Frances barged in north of Palm Beach and cut across the state to the northwest before going into the Gulf of Mexico. The reported death toll was more than 30 and Florida damage from the two storms was placed at more than $10 billion.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush announced he would nominate U.S. Circuit Judge John Roberts to succeed the late William Rehnquist as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also in 2005, an Indonesian Boeing 737-200 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in the suburbs of the Sumatran city of Medan killing at least 147 people, including 30 on the ground. Six people in the rear of the plane reportedly escaped with minor injuries.

In 2006, conservative candidate Felipe Calderon was declared winner of the Mexican presidency by a razor-thin margin.

Also in 2006, Katie Couric, long-time co-host of the NBC Today Show, became the first solo female anchor on a major U.S. television network when she took over the CBS Evening News.

In 2007, wealthy, record-setting U.S. adventurer Steve Fossett, 63, vanished on a short flight in western Nevada. No trace of him was ever found and he was declared dead five months later. Among his many records in the skies and on the water, he was the first person to fly around the world solo in a balloon and first to fly around the globe solo without refueling.


Also in 2007, German security forces arrested three Islamic men reportedly in the act of mixing chemicals for bombing Frankfurt airport and a U.S. military base.

A thought for the day: Norman Douglas said, "You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements."

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