The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2010 with 313 to follow.

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


Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Mexican revolutionary and military commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (conqueror of the Alamo) in 1794; Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1801; German bacteriologist August von Wassermann, who developed the blood test for syphilis, in 1866; classical guitarist Andres Segovia in 1893; writer Anais Nin in 1903; poet and author W.H. Auden in 1907; filmmaker Sam Peckinpah in 1925; humorist Erma Bombeck in 1927; actors Rue McClanahan in 1934 (age 76), Gary Lockwood in 1937 (age 73) and Tyne Daly and Alan Rickman, both in 1946 (age 64); U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, in 1947 (age 63); film/record executive David Geffen in 1943 (age 67); Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in 1946 (age 64); singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 52); actors Kelsey Grammer in 1955 (age 55), Christopher Atkins in 1961 (age 49), William Baldwin in 1963 (age 47), Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1979 (age 31) and Ellen Page in 1987 (age 23); and singer Charlotte Church in 1986 (age 24).


On this date in history:

In 1828, a printing press later used to print the first newspaper for American Indians arrived at the Cherokee Council in Echota, Ga.

In 1848, "The Communist Manifesto" was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

In 1878, the New Haven, Conn., Telephone Company published the first phone directory. It listed 50 subscribers.

In 1885, the Washington Monument, a 555-foot-high marble obelisk built in honor of America's revolutionary hero and first president, was dedicated in Washington.

In 1916, the Germans launched the Battle of Verdun, World War I's single longest battle. It lasted almost 10 months and left more than 1 million soldiers on both sides dead.

In 1925, the first issue of The New Yorker was published.

In 1934, Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Cesar Augusto Sandino was killed by members of the Nicaraguan national guard.

In 1953, Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.

In 1965, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally in New York City.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon travelled to the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.

In 1994, longtime CIA counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames and his wife were arrested and charged with selling information to the Soviet Union and Russia.


In 1995, a Russian commission estimated as many as 24,400 civilians had died in the two-month uprising in the separatist republic of Chechnya.

In 2005, heavy snowfall in Indian-controlled Kashmir claimed more than 100 lives with dozens missing.

Also in 2005, leaders of the world's 78 million Anglicans, including U.S. Episcopalians, met in Northern Ireland to consider the growing division over homosexuality.

In 2007, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he wanted to start returning some of the country's 7,200 soldiers home from Iraq by the end of the year.

Also in 2007, nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan signed a treaty in New Delhi aimed at preventing the accidental use of atomic weapons.

In 2009, a reported 96 miners were trapped by an early morning explosion in an underground coal mine in northern China. The miners were among a crew of 436 working in a mine at Gujiao City.

Also in 2009, federal investigators interviewed U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., latest step in the controversy over Burris' appointment to the Senate by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

A thought for the day: David Russell said, "The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn."


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