The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, Sept, 27, the 271st day of 2008 with 95 to follow.

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 Libra. They include patriot Samuel Adams in 1722; political cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1840; composers Joseph McCarthy ("You Made Me Love You") in 1885 and Vincent Youmans ("Tea for Two") in 1898; actress Jayne Meadows in 1920 (age 88); filmmaker Arthur Penn in 1922 (age 86); actors William Conrad in 1920, Sada Thompson in 1929 (age 79) and Wilford Brimley in 1934 (age 74); actor Greg Morris also in 1934; and actor/singer Shaun Cassidy in 1958 (age 50).

On this date in history:

In 1825, in England, George Stephenson operated the first locomotive to pull a passenger train.

In 1935, 13-year-old Judy Garland signed her first contract with MGM.

In 1939, after 19 days of heavy air raids and artillery bombardment, Polish defenders of Warsaw surrendered to the Germans.


In 1954, "The Tonight Show" made its television debut with host Steve Allen.

In 1964, the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was released after a 10-month investigation, concluding that there was no conspiracy and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, acted alone.

In 1987, mudslides in slum areas of Medellin, Colombia, killed up to 500 people.

In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced the United States would unilaterally eliminate tactical nuclear weapons on land and at sea in Europe and Asia.

Also in 1991, the Palestine Liberation Organization legislature voted to support U.S.- and Soviet-sponsored Middle East peace efforts.

In 1992, the Inkatha party, rival to Nelson Mandela's ANC, withdrew from talks with the South African government after a meeting between Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk.

In 1994, U.S. forces in Haiti took control of the parliament building and began paying Haitians to turn in weapons in order to reduce firepower on the streets.

In 1996, rebels seized control of Afghanistan from the previous rebel group that had taken the country from Moscow. The new rebels hanged Afghani leader Najibullah and his brother.

In 1998, Gerhard Schroeder led Germany's Social Democratic Party to victory in parliamentary elections, bringing to an end 16 years of power by Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his Christian Democratic Party.


And in 1998, St. Louis Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire set an all-time major-league season home run record when he hit his 70th home run.

In 2001, in further steps following the terrorist attacks on the United States, U.S. President George Bush asked governors to assign National Guard troops to help protect commercial airports and said armed sky marshals in plainclothes would soon begin riding some flights.

In 2003, U.S. President George Bush and Russian President Putin said they would join forces to oppose nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea.

In 2005, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, second in command to the al-Qaida leader in Iraq, was reported killed by Iraqi and U.S. forces in a Baghdad gun battle.

Also in 2005, French prosecutors began questioning senior officials with the former Concorde aircraft project over a crash in 2000 that killed 113 people.

In 2007, nine people were reported killed and another 100 injured as the Myanmar military junta sought to break up nine days of demonstrations by Buddhist monks and nuns in Yangon over the more than doubling of gas prices.

Also in 2007, the U.S. Senate voted to attach a measure that would extend federal hate-crime protection to sexual orientation to the defense authorization bill.


A thought for the day: in "The Republic," Greek philosopher Plato wrote, "The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life."

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