The almanac

United Press International

Today is Thursday, June 25, the 176th day of 2009 with 189 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include French composer Gustave Charpentier in 1860; Broadway producer George Abbott in 1887; English novelist and critic George Orwell, author of "1984," in 1903; movie director Sidney Lumet in 1924 (age 85); actress June Lockhart in 1925 (age 84); civil rights advocate James Meredith in 1933 (age 76); actor Jimmie Walker in 1947 (age 62); and pop singers Carly Simon in 1945 (age 64) and George Michael in 1963 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1876, U.S. Army Gen. George Custer and his force of 208 men were annihilated by Chief Sitting Bull's Sioux warriors at Little Big Horn in Montana.

In 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower took command of the U.S. World War II forces in Europe.

In 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea.

In 1951, CBS aired the first color television broadcast. At the time, no color TV sets were owned by the public.

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision interpreted as barring prayer in public schools.

In 1967, with Mick Jagger, Keith Richard and others singing backup, the Beatles recorded "All You Need Is Love" before an international television audience estimated at 400 million people.

In 1973, White House attorney John Dean told a U.S. Senate committee that U.S. President Richard Nixon joined in a plot to cover up the Watergate break-in.

In 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, sparking civil war.

In 1993, Kim Campbell was sworn in as Canada's first woman prime minister.

In 1994, Japan's Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata resigned two months after taking office rather than face a no-confidence vote by parliament.

In 1996, a truck bomb killed 19 U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia. Several hundred more people were injured.

In 1997, about half of Mir's power supply was knocked out when an unmanned cargo ship collided with the Russian space station and put a hole in it.

Also in 1997, Montserrat's Soufriere Hills Volcano, after lying dormant for 400 years, erupted -- wiping out two-thirds of the Caribbean island and forcing most of the population to relocate.

In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton arrived in China for a much-debated visit.

In 2003, the Federal Reserve Board lowered the key federal funds rate, the overnight loan rate between banks, to 1.0 percent, lowest since 1958.

In 2004, the film "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore's critical view of the invasion of Iraq, broke box office records for a documentary in its first few days.

In 2005, religious conservative Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran in a landslide.

In 2006, Warren Buffett announced plans to give away 85 percent of his shares in his company, about $37 billion, to charity. Most of that -- some $31 billion -- was earmarked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2007, a North Korea official said his country was ready to close its nuclear program.

Also in 2007, suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in Iraq, including a tribal chief and 11 others in a five-star Baghdad hotel.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional for child rape.

Also in 2008, North Korean officials destroyed a cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear facility as part of the country's pledge to end its nuclear weapons program.

A thought for the day: James H. Boren defined bureaucrats as "the only people in the world who can say absolutely nothing and mean it."

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