The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 10, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Jan. 10, the 10th day of 2009 with 355 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include silent screen actor Francis X. Bushman in 1883; poet Robinson Jeffers in 1887; actors Ray Bolger in 1904, Paul Henreid in 1908 and Sal Mineo in 1939; singers Johnnie Ray in 1927, Frank Sinatra Jr. in 1944 (age 65), Jim Croce in 1943 and Rod Stewart in 1945 (age 64); boxer George Foreman in 1949 (age 60); and singer Pat Benatar in 1953 (age 56).

On this date in history:

In 1776, "Common Sense" by political philosopher Thomas Paine was published. The pamphlet advocated independence from England.

In 1878, a constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote was introduced into the U.S. Senate. It wasn't until 42 years later that the amendment was signed into law.

In 1901, oil was discovered at the Spindletop claim near Beaumont, Texas, launching the Southwest oil boom.

In 1920, the League of Nations came into being as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.

In 1946, the first meeting of the U.N. General Assembly convened in London.

In 1984, the United States established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican for the first time in 116 years.

In 1994, NATO approved a plan for a limited expansion of the membership to Eastern European nations.

In 1996, rebels in the Russian republic of Chechnya holding 2,000 rebels released all but 130 and were allowed to flee. However, before they reached the border, Russian troops attacked the convoy, beginning a five-day standoff.

In 2000, America Online announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner for $165 billion, in what would be the biggest merger in history.

In 2003, North Korea announced it was withdrawing from the 1979 nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

In 2005, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip elected Mahmoud Abbas as their new president, succeeding the late Yasser Arafat.

Also in 2005, CBS News announced it had fired four employees for producing a flawed report on U.S. President George Bush's military record.

In 2006, Iran unsealed its nuclear facility at Natanz and resumed atomic research for what it claimed to be peaceful purposes but sparking international ire.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush announced he was sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, most of them deployed in Baghdad, in what was labeled a troop "surge" and set off intense debate in Congress.

Also in 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives approved and sent to the Senate a $2.10-an-hour increase in the national minimum wage, raising the figure to $7.25.

In 2008, U.S. forces mounted a major air offensive against al-Qaida targets on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, the military said. Within 10 minutes, warplanes dropped 38 1,000-pound bombs on suspected al-Qaida safe houses.

Also in 2008, at least 23 people were killed and 60 others injured when a suicide bomber detonated outside a busy courthouse at midday in Lahore, Pakistan.

Officials said police appeared to be the target.

And, Edmund Hillary, who rose to international fame as a member of the first climbing party to scale Mount Everest, died in Auckland, New Zealand, at age 88.

A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

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