The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, Sept. 6, the 250th day of 2008 with 116 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 the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolutionary War, in 1757; pioneer social worker Jane Addams in 1860; financier-diplomat Joseph P. Kennedy in 1888; theatrical producer Billy Rose in 1899; comedienne Jo Anne Worley ("Laugh-In") in 1937 (age 71); actresses Swoosie Kurtz in 1944 (age 64) and Jane Curtin in 1947 (age 61); comedian Jeff Foxworthy ("You know you're a redneck...") in 1958 (age 50); and actors Rosie Perez in 1964 (age 44) and Justin Whalin in 1974 (age 34).

On this date in history:

In 1522, one of Ferdinand Magellan's five ships -- the Vittoria -- arrived at Sanlucar de Barrameda in Spain, completing the first circumnavigation of the world.

In 1620, 149 Pilgrims set sail from England aboard the Mayflower, bound for the New World.

In 1901, U.S. President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. He died eight days later.

In 1909, word was received that U.S. Navy Adm. Robert Peary had discovered the North Pole five months earlier, on April 6, 1909.

In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, an architect of his nation's apartheid policies, was stabbed to death by a deranged messenger during a parliamentary meeting in Cape Town.

In 1982, Polish dissidents seized the Polish Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, and demanded an end to martial law in Poland. They eventually surrendered.

In 1991, the Soviet State Council recognized the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after 51 years of Soviet occupation.

In 1995, the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended that Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., be expelled from the Senate on charges of sexual misconduct and influence peddling. He resigned two days later.

In 1995 sports, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., played his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking the record set in 1939 by Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees.

In 1996, Hurricane Fran made landfall at Cape Fear, N.C., with 115 mph winds. It killed 28 people.

In 1997, Britain bid an emotional farewell to Princess Diana -- killed in a car accident a week earlier -- with a funeral service at London's Westminster Abbey that was broadcast worldwide.

In 2003, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas resigned less than four months in the job.

Also in 2003, an unemployed electrician was charged in Northern Ireland's worst violence, the bombing of an open market in Omagh that killed 29 and injured 220.

In 2004, former U.S. President Bill Clinton underwent a successful 4-hour quadruple heart bypass operation at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

In 2005, New Orleans' mayor ordered everyone to leave the city or face possible removal by force. Most of the 500,000 displaced people were staying in nearby states but some were housed as far away as Massachusetts.

In 2006, U.S. President George Bush acknowledged that suspected terrorist prisoners had been held in secret prisons in other countries.

In 2007, Luciano Pavarotti, one of opera's foremost tenors, died of cancer at his home in Modena, Italy. He was 71.

Also in 2007, Hurricane Felix killed at least 21 people in Nicaragua with 200 more reported missing.

A thought for the day: it was Jane Addams who said, "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt."

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