The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 11, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, June 11, the 162nd day of 2009 with 203 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include English playwright/poet Ben Jonson in 1572; German composer Richard Strauss in 1864; Montana's Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1880; undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau in 1910; football coach Vince Lombardi in 1913; author William Styron in 1925; actors Chad Everett in 1936 (age 73), Gene Wilder in 1933 (age 76) and Adrienne Barbeau in 1945 (age 64); Scottish auto racer Jackie Stewart in 1939 (age 70); former football player Joe Montana in 1956 (age 53); and actor Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek") in 1978 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1920, U.S. Sen. Warren G. Harding, R-Ohio, was chosen as the "dark horse" Republican candidate for president. That November, he was elected the 29th president of the United States.

In 1927, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge welcomed Charles Lindbergh home after the pilot made history's first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, New York to Paris.

In 1963, facing federalized Alabama National Guard troops, Gov. George Wallace ended his blockade of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and allowed two African-Americans to enroll.

In 1967, the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ended with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire. The outnumbered Israel forces achieved a swift and decisive victory in the brief war.

In 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan died at age 31 in a New Jersey nursing home, nearly 10 years after she lapsed into an irreversible coma. Her condition had sparked a nationwide controversy over her "right to die."

In 1987, Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win three consecutive terms.

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an anti-flag burning law passed by Congress in 1989, reigniting calls for a constitutional amendment.

Also in 1990, former Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter was sentenced to six months in prison, becoming the first Iran-Contra defendant to receive prison time in the arms-for-hostages scandal.

In 1993, North Korea said it would suspend its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In 1994, after 49 years, the Russian military occupation of what had been East Germany ended with the departure of the Red Army from Berlin.

In 2003, a bomb explosion aboard a Jerusalem bus killed at least 13 people and injured 53 more.

In 2004, a second service was held for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, attended by President George W. Bush, the four living ex-presidents and world leaders. The body was flown to California for burial.

In 2005, the world's richest countries agreed to a debt relief deal for the poorest nations, writing off $40 billion in debt.

In 2007, a U.S. appeals court ruled that U.S. President George Bush cannot detain indefinitely as an "enemy combatant" a foreign national arrested in the United States.

In 2008, a U.S. air and ground attack aimed at Taliban militants on the Afghan border killed 11 Pakistan paramilitary forces, angering Pakistan and increasing tension with the United States.

A thought for the day: John Keats wrote, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." And it was also Keats who wrote, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty ... that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

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