The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 266th day of 2008 with 100 to follow.

Autumn begins at 11:44 a.m. Eastern time.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include English statesman and wit Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, in 1694; English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday in 1791; filmmaker Eric Von Stroheim in 1885; humorist Frank Sullivan in 1892; actor Paul Muni in 1895; producer/actor John Houseman in 1902; actor Allan "Rocky" Lane, B-movie cowboy star of the 1940s and later the TV voice of Mr. Ed, in 1904; former Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda in 1927 (age 81); actor Eugene Roche in 1928; singers Debby Boone in 1956 (age 52) and Joan Jett in 1960 (age 48); and actors Scott Baio, Bonnie Hunt and Catherine Oxenberg, all in 1961 (age 47).


On this date in history:

In 1776, the British hanged American Revolutionary War hero and patriot Nathan Hale. His famous last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

In 1927, Jack Dempsey muffed a chance to regain the heavyweight championship when he knocked down Gene Tunney but failed to go to a neutral corner promptly, thereby delaying the referee's count and giving the champ time to get up.

In 1949, the U.S. nuclear monopoly ended as the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb.

In 1975, self-proclaimed revolutionary Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill U.S. President Gerald Ford as he walked from a San Francisco hotel. A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd.

In 1980, long-standing border disputes and political turmoil in Iran prompted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to launch an invasion of Iran's oil-producing province of Khuzestan, touching off a costly, eight-year war.

In 1985, more than 50 rock and country stars, headed by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, staged the 14-hour Farm Aid concert for 78,000 rain-soaked spectators in Champaign, Ill., raising $10 million for debt-ridden U.S. farmers.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo slashed through Charleston and coastal South Carolina with 135-mph winds, claiming at least 28 lives.


Also in 1989, Irving Berlin, whose long list of enduring songs include "God Bless America" and "White Christmas," died in his sleep at his home in New York City at the age of 101.

In 1992, two beluga whales at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium died shortly after being given medication for parasites. Animal rights groups called for a nationwide moratorium on whale captures.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton unveiled his healthcare reform package in a speech before a joint session of Congress.

In 1999, the U.S. Justice Department sued five major U.S. tobacco companies and two defunct lobbying groups, charging they colluded to defraud the public about the addictive nature of tobacco products.

In 2003, a bomb exploded outside the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing the bomber and a guard and wounding 19. Three days later, the United Nations said it was withdrawing more staff from Iraq.

In 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation removing agricultural sales barriers and student visitation limits to Cuba.

In 2005, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to recommend the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late William Rehnquist.

In 2006, Indian officials said the train bombings at Mumbai in which nearly 200 people died, was hatched in Pakistan and not carried out by al-Qaida.


In 2007, Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru, returned home from his Chilean exile to face charges of corruption and human rights abuse.

A thought for the day: U.S. author and writing teacher Brenda Ueland wrote, "... all children have creative power."

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