The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 7, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Sept. 7, the 251st of 2008 with 115 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 England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1533; American primitive painter Anna "Grandma" Moses in 1860; financier J. Pierpont Morgan Jr. in 1867; legendary heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey in 1908 ; film director Elia Kazan in 1909; physicist and rocket developer James Van Allen in 1914; actor Peter Lawford in 1923; Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, in 1924 (age 84); rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly in 1936; actors John Philip Law ("The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming") in 1937, Richard Roundtree in 1942 (age 66); Julie Kavner in 1951 (age 57) and Corbin Bernsen in 1954 (age 54); and entertainer Michael Feinstein in 1956 (age 52).

On this date in history:

In 1822, Brazil declared independence from Portugal.

In 1892, James Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round of a prizefight at New Orleans, the first major fight under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

In 1901, the Boxer Rebellion in China ended with the Boxer Protocol.

In 1926, Hollywood studios closed for the day in honor of the funeral of Rudolph Valentino, the silent movie superstar who had died after ulcer surgery.

In 1940, Nazi Germany launched the London blitz, a bombing that Adolf Hitler believed would soften Britain for invasion. The invasion never materialized.

In 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos signed a treaty agreeing to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama at the end of the 20th century.

In 1986, Desmond Tutu was installed as the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, becoming first black titular head of South Africa's fourth-largest Christian church.

In 1992, black soldiers in the South African homeland of Ciskei killed 23 people and wounded nearly 200 others when they fired on thousands of African National Congress supporters.

Also in 1992, 12 people were killed when a twin-engine plane carrying skydivers crashed in a soybean field in Hinckley, Ill.

In 1993, South Africa's ruling National Party agreed to share power with a multiparty council that would be established within two months.

In 1996, "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian assisted in a reported 40th suicide in Michigan.

In 2004, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq passed the 1,000 mark.

Also in 2004, September's third hurricane, named Ivan, struck Grenada with 150 mph sustained winds, killing about 40 people, and headed toward the United States.

In 2005, authorities report finding 32 bodies drowned in a New Orleans nursing home where people didn't evacuate in face of the rampaging floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina.

Also in 2005, a U.S. grand jury indicted a Georgian man for allegedly trying to kill U.S. President George Bush with a hand grenade during a Bush visit to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in May. The grenade failed to detonate.

And, a report to the United Nations cited alleged corruption in the U.N.'s administration of the oil-for-food program in which Iraq under Saddam Hussein could sell a limited amount of oil ostensibly for humanitarian needs such as food and medicine.

In 2006, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he would resign within one year. Blair's strong support of U.S. policy in Iraq was among the major reasons reported for the move.

Also in 2006, Richard Armitage, former secretary of state, confirmed he was the primary source for revealing the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame in a 2003 Robert Novak column. The "outing" created a major Washington scandal.

In 2007, a U.S. judge ruled that Iran must pay billions of dollars to 241 families of victims in the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon. The judge said Iran provided material and aid to the actual bomber, the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Also in 2007, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay almost $200 million to 144 people who claimed sexual abuse by clergy.

A thought for the day: American lawyer and statesman Daniel Webster said, "Knowledge is the only fountain both of the love and the principles of human liberty."

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