The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 24, 2010 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2010 with 310 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 Wilhelm Grimm, historian and, with his brother Jacob, compiler of "Grimm's Fairy Tales," in 1786; painter Winslow Homer in 1836; John Philip Holland, inventor of the modern submarine, in 1841; Irish author George Moore in 1852; baseball shortstop and Hall of Famer Honus Wagner in 1874; Adm. Chester Nimitz, World War II commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, in 1885; actors Marjorie Main in 1890; Abe Vigoda in 1921 (age 89); James Farentino in 1938 (age 72), Barry Bostwick in 1945 (age 65), Edward James Olmos in 1947 (age 63) and Helen Shaver in 1951 (age 59); U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., in 1942 (age 68); guitarist George Thorogood in 1950 (age 60); Steven Jobs, founder of the Apple computer company, and race car driver Alain Prost, both in 1955 (age 55); TV personality Paula Zahn in 1956 (age 54); actor Billy Zane in 1966 (age 44); the Kienast quintuplets of Liberty Corner, N.J., in 1970 (age 40); boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, in 1977 (age 33); and tennis player Lleyton Hewitt in 1981 (age 29).

On this date in history:

In 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court established the principle of judicial review with its Marbury v. Madison decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall.

In 1868, Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. president to be impeached. He was acquitted in the Senate trial.

Also in 1868, the first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans to include floats marched.

In 1920, a group of Germans organized the National Socialist party, forerunner of the Nazi party later led by Adolf Hitler.

In 1922, Henri Landru, better known as "Bluebeard," was executed in France for killing 10 of his girlfriends.

In 1945, U.S. troops liberated the Philippine city of Manila from the Japanese.

In 1946, Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

In 1970, National Public Radio was founded.

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional an Indianapolis law that defined pornography as discrimination against women.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court defended the right to satirize public figures when it voted 8-0 to overturn a $200,000 settlement awarded the Rev. Jerry Falwell over the parody of him in Hustler Magazine.

In 1989, nine people were killed when a 10-by-40-foot section of a United Airlines 747 ripped away from the jetliner's outer skin while en route from Hawaii to New Zealand.

In 1991, U.S.-led forces began a lightning, multipronged ground assault against Iraq.

In 1992, General Motors announced a record $4.5 billion loss in 1991 and said it will close 21 plants and idle 74,000 workers over four years.

Also in 1992, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled two designs for a commemorative stamp honoring Elvis Presley -- one showing him as a young rock-and-roll singer, the other at the height of his success in Las Vegas.

In 1993, rock veteran Eric Clapton took home seven Grammy Awards for his emotion-packed "Tears In Heaven" and bluesy "Layla."

In 1995, diver Greg Louganis, who won four gold medals in the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988, revealed he had AIDS.

In 1996, Cuba shot down two unarmed planes flown by pilots belonging to a Cuban exile group who were looking for boat people to rescue.

In 1997, a nationally televised funeral for China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping was held at a military hospital in Beijing.

In 2002, the Winter Olympics concluded at Salt Lake City with the United States winning 34 medals, 10 of them gold, its most medals in Winter Games history and one fewer than medals champ Germany.

In 2003, at least 260 people were killed in an earthquake in northwest China as the tremor flattened thousands of houses and other buildings. The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

Also in 2003, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the U.N. Security Council declaring that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has missed a "final opportunity" to disarm peacefully.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in the United States.

Also in 2004, an earthquake struck Morocco, killing about 600 people and injuring hundreds more.

In 2005, Pope John II underwent a tracheotomy at a Rome hospital to ease the 84-year-old pontiff's breathing problems.

In 2006, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of military officers suspected of plotting a coup.

In 2007, a bombing near a Sunni mosque outside Baghdad killed at least 35 people, signaling an end to a downturn in sectarian violence.

In 2008, at least 52 Shiite pilgrims headed to the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala to celebrate Arbaeen were killed in an attack at a rest stop. Four others were killed the next day by suicide bombers.

Also in 2008, consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced he would run for president again as an independent.

In 2009, in his first address as chief executive to a joint session of Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke of the necessity of immediate action to resurrect the flailing economy and of plans for investing in energy, healthcare and education.

Also in 2009, Taliban insurgents in Pakistan's militarily strategic Swat Valley agreed to a cease-fire leaving them in charge of the area near the Afghan border and about 100 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

A thought for the day: Harry Millner said, "There are many paths to the top of the mountain but only one view."

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