The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, Sept. 8, the 252nd day of 2008 with 114 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 King Richard I, "Richard the Lion Hearted," in 1157; composer Antonin Dvorak in 1841; country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers, "The Singing Brakeman," in 1897; U.S. Sen. Claude Pepper, D-Fla., in 1900; comedian Sid Caesar in 1922 (age 86); actor Peter Sellers in 1925; country music singer Patsy Cline in 1932; former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. D-Ga., in 1938 (age 70); and actors Henry Thomas ("E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial") in 1971 (age 37) and Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement") in 1981 (age 27).

On this date in history:

In 1565, the first permanent European settlement in what is now the continental United States was founded on the site of the present St. Augustine, Fla.

In 1900, more than 6,000 people were killed when a hurricane and tidal wave struck Galveston, Texas.


In 1935, an assassin shot autocratic U.S. Sen. Huey P. Long, D-La., at the Capitol building in Baton Rouge, La. Long died two days later.

Also in 1935, 19-year-old Frank Sinatra launched his singing career when he appeared with a group called The Hoboken Four on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio talent show.

In 1966, "Star Trek" premiered on NBC-TV.

In 1974, U.S. President Gerald Ford granted former U.S. President Richard Nixon full pardon for any and all offenses he may have committed during his years in office.

In 1993, the Senate approved U.S. President Bill Clinton's national-service bill, which would give participants grants for taking part in community service work.

In 1994, a U.S. Airways jetliner crashed near Pittsburgh, killing 132 people. The accident became the subject of the longest aircraft investigation in the history of the National Transportation Safety Board.

In 1998, the U.S. Justice Department opened a preliminary inquiry into U.S. President Bill Clinton's participation in Democratic fundraising for the 1996 re-election campaign.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush paid another visit to the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast and signed a $51.8 billion bill for additional Katrina relief funds.


Also in 2005, the probe into Iraq's oil-for-food program found that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's son Kojo used his father's position to profit from the project. Investigators say there was no evidence Annan knew of his son's involvement.

And, more than 1,000 mourners attended the Washington funeral of the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who died of thyroid cancer just shy of his 81st birthday. He was buried in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2006, a U.S. Senate committee investigative report said no basis was found to link the regime of Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaida terrorist network.

In 2007, the owners of a Louisiana nursing home were found innocent in the deaths of 35 residents who drowned during Hurricane Katrina.

Also in 2007, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, top U.S. troop commander in Iraq, said he supports a drawdown of 30,000 in U.S. troop levels by mid-2008.

A thought for the day: in "Middlemarch," English novelist Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot) wrote, " know best about everything, except what women know better."

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