The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 6, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2009 with 328 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include England's Queen Anne in 1665; statesman Aaron Burr in 1756; baseball great George Herman "Babe" Ruth in 1895; former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1911; actors Patrick MacNee in 1922 (age 87), Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1917 (age 92) and Rip Torn in 1931 (age 78); French film director Francois Truffaut in 1932; actors Mike Farrell in 1939 (age 70) and Michael Tucker in 1944 (age 65); television news anchorman Tom Brokaw in 1940 (age 69); handgun activist Sarah Brady in 1942 (age 67); singers Fabian Forte in 1943 (age 66) and Natalie Cole in 1950 (age 59); Jamaican reggae singer/songwriter Bob Marley in 1945; and actor/director Robert Townsend and actress Kathy Najimy, both in 1957 (age 52).

On this date in history:

In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was appointed commander in chief of the armies of the Confederacy.

In 1943, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander of Allied expeditionary forces in North Africa. He later became World War II Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

In 1952, Princess Elizabeth became sovereign of Great Britain upon the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953.

In 1974, the Caribbean island of Grenada was declared independent and a member of the British Commonwealth.

In 1987, broad no-smoking rules took effect for 890,000 employees in 6,800 U.S. federal buildings nationwide.

In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush authorized the direct shipment of emergency medical supplies to the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

In 1992, a military transport plane crashed into a restaurant and hotel in Evansville, Ind., killing 16 people.

In 1993, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali asked NATO for authority to order airstrikes against Serb artillery positions in Bosnia.

In 1997, the head of Mexico's leading anti-drug agency was forced to resign after evidence emerged that he took bribes from a drug cartel.

In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton said he would never consider resigning because of allegations that he had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

In 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister of Israel.

In 2003, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved deployment of the 101st Airborne Division and the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk to the Persian Gulf region.

In 2004, a female suicide bomber detonated explosives in a suitcase on a Moscow subway car killing 39 people and injuring about 200.

In 2005, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that decisions must be made to promote peace and encourage a Palestinian state.

And in 2005 sports, the New England Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21.

In 2006, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told Congress that President George Bush was within his legal rights when he authorized warrantless surveillance of people in the United States by the National Security Agency.

In 2007, an almost solid Republican front blocked U.S. Senate debate on a bipartisan resolution opposing the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq.

In 2008, storms spawned tornadoes across wide areas of the U.S. South, killing at least 54 people and injuring nearly 100 more. Roaring across five states, the deadly twisters trapped 50 people in a retirement home and severely damaged Union University, a shopping mall and a hospital.

A thought for the day: it was U.S. President Ronald Reagan who said, "You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit."

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