The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 22, 2010 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2010 with 343 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Russian Czar Ivan III, known as Ivan the Great, in 1440; English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon in 1561; French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere in 1775; British poet George Byron in 1788; D.W. Griffith, legendary film director ("Birth of a Nation"), in 1875; U.N. Secretary-General U Thant in 1909; actresses Ann Sothern in 1909 and Piper Laurie in 1932 (age 78); actor Bill Bixby in 1934; soul singer Sam Cooke in 1935; author Joseph Wambaugh in 1937 (age 73); actor John Hurt in 1940 (age 70); Journey lead singer Steve Perry in 1949 (age 61); and actors Linda Blair ("The Exorcist") in 1959 (age 51); Diane Lane in 1965 (age 45); Olivia d'Abo in 1969 (age 41) and Balthazar Getty in 1975 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1771, Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain.

In 1901, Queen Victoria of Britain died at age 82 after a reign of 64 years. She was succeeded by her son, Edward VII.

In 1943, U.S. and Australian troops took New Guinea in the first land victory over the Japanese in World War II.

In 1944, U.S. troops invaded Italy, landing at Anzio beach in a move to outflank German defensive positions.

In 1973, in the Roe vs. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws restricting abortions during the first six months of pregnancy.

In 1987, Glen Tremml, 27, pedaled the ultralight aircraft Eagle over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for a human-powered flight record of 37.2 miles.

In 1991, Iraq launched a Scud missile attack against Israel, injuring 98 people. Three others died of heart attacks.

In 1995, two Palestinians killed 18 Israeli soldiers, a civilian and themselves in a bombing outside a military camp in central Israel.

In 1996, Costas Simitis was prime minister of Greece. His predecessor, Andreas Papandreou, had stepped down due to ill health.

In 1998, accused bomber Ted Kaczynski pleaded guilty to all counts against him in California and New Jersey. He was sentenced to life in prison on May 4.

In 2003, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge to be the first secretary of Homeland Security by a 94-0 vote.

Also in 2003, snowboard pioneer Craig Kelly died in a British Columbia avalanche.

In 2005, the Indian navy in New Delhi reported finding a tsunami victim 25 days after he had been sucked into the sea and tossed onto a small island where he survived on coconuts until rescued.

In 2006, Evo Morales is inaugurated as president of Bolivia.

Also in 2006, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said his country was prepared to "defend itself" if Iran did not halt its nuclear research program.

In 2007, hampered by crowds of scavengers, emergency workers in southwest England secured a grounded freighter that spilled cargo and 200 tons of oil.

In 2008, in response to the global stock market plunge and a weak economic outlook, the U.S. Federal Reserve bank cut interest rates by 0.75 percent, the largest single-day reduction in the bank's history.

Also in 2008, Jose Padilla, an American citizen accused of plotting to explode a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States, was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months in jail for aiding terrorists.

And, a suicide bomber struck at a school in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 21 people, including 17 students, police said.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, in his second full day in office, signed executive orders to close all secret prisons and detention camps reportedly run by the CIA, including the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, and banning coercive interrogation methods.

Also in 2009, two dairy company officials convicted in China's tainted milk scandal were given death sentences for their roles in the incident. Six babies died from the bad milk but nearly 300,000 infants reportedly got sick from drinking it.

A thought for the day: Linus Pauling said, "The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."

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