The almanac

United Press International

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 30, the 274th day of 2008 with 92 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 German physicist Hans Geiger, co-inventor of the Geiger counter, in 1882; film director Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet on the Western Front") in 1895; singer Kenny Baker in 1912; drummer Buddy Rich in 1917; novelist Truman Capote in 1924; actresses Deborah Kerr in 1921 and Angie Dickinson in 1931 (age 77); singers Johnny Mathis in 1935 (age 73) and Marilyn McCoo in 1943 (age 65); singer Frankie Lymon in 1942; actress Victoria Tennant in 1950 (age 58); actor Eric Stoltz in 1961 (age 47); actress/singer Crystal Bernard in 1961 (age 47); and actresses Fran Drescher ("The Nanny") in 1957 (age 51) and Jenna Elfman ("Dharma and Greg") in 1971 (age 37), and tennis star Martina Hingis in 1980 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 1452, the first section of the Guttenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, was published in Germany.


In 1630, John Billington, one of the first pilgrims to land in America was hanged for murder -- becoming the first European criminal executed in the American colonies.

In 1846, a dentist in Charleston, Mass., extracted a tooth with the aid of an anesthetic -- ether. It was the first time an anesthetic had been used.

In 1938, Germany, France, Britain and Italy met in Munich, Germany, for a conference after which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain predicted "peace for our time." But, World War II began less than one year later.

In 1946, the verdicts were handed down in the Nuremberg war crimes trial. Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death by hanging.

In 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, was commissioned by the U.S. Navy.

In 1955, movie idol James Dean died in a car crash at age 24.

In 1962, James H. Meredith, an African-American, was escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. marshals, setting off a riot during which two men were killed before the racial violence was quelled by more than 3,000 soldiers. Meredith enrolled the next day.

In 1991, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup.


In 1992, the United States returned most of the Subic Bay Naval Base to the Philippine government after more than a century of use.

In 1999, an accident at a nuclear power plant 70 miles northeast of Tokyo released high levels of radiation in Japan's worst nuclear accident.

Also in 1999, Russia sent troops into the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

By this date in 2001, about 500 people in the United States and elsewhere had been arrested or detained in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In 2003, the U.S. Justice Department opened an investigation into the leaking of the name of a CIA operative to the media in an alleged effort to discredit a critic of the president's Iraq policy.

Also in 2003, three people working at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, including a Muslim chaplain, were arrested on espionage charges.

In 2004, more than 40 people were killed, including about 35 children, when three bombs exploded in Iraq as U.S. soldiers were handing out candy.

Also in 2004, Merck & Co. announced a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of the arthritis and pain medication drug Vioxx. Clinical trials showed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke after 18 months of use.


In 2005, amid joy, sadness and speculation about the future, thousands of New Orleans residents returned home to a hobbled city, one month after Hurricane Katrina dealt them a devastating blow.

In 2006, Brazilian authorities said they found the wreckage of a missing airliner in the dense rain forest. Searchers said it was unlikely anyone had survived the crash.

Also in 2006, Congress ordered construction of a 700-mile, $1.2 billion fence along the U.S.-Mexican border in a move to control immigration. Mexico said the barrier would hurt relations between the two countries.

In 2007, roadside bombs killed or wounded 21,200 U.S. soldiers since the war in Iraq began in March 2003, The Washington Post reported. The Pentagon called the improvised explosives "the most effective weapon" against U.S. troops.

A thought for the day: Spanish nun, mystic and reformer St. Theresa said, "Whenever conscience commands anything, there is only one thing to fear, and that is fear."

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