The almanac

By United Press International  |  July 9, 2010 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, July 9, the 190th day of 2010 with 175 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, in 1819; Nikola Tesla, inventor of the electromagnetic motor, in 1856; historian Samuel Eliot Morison in 1887; English romance novelist Barbara Cartland in 1901; actor/singer Ed Ames in 1927 (age 83); English artist David Hockney in 1937 (age 73); actors Brian Dennehy in 1938 (age 72) and Richard Roundtree in 1942 (age 68); writer Dean R. Koontz in 1945 (age 65); football star/actor O.J. Simpson in 1947 (age 63); Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 1950 (age 60); entertainer John Tesh in 1952 (age 58); actors Chris Cooper in 1951 (age 59); Tom Hanks in 1956 (age 54), Kelly McGillis in 1957 (age 53), Jimmy Smits in 1955 (age 55) and Fred Savage in 1976 (age 34); singer/actor Courtney Love in 1964 (age 46); rock musician Jack White in 1975 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1850, U.S. President Zachary Taylor died suddenly of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.

In 1868, ratification of 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed African-Americans full citizenship and all people in the United States due process under the law.

In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis tournament was contested at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.

In 1893, Chicago surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.

In 1943, U.S., Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.

In 1947, Florence Blanchard, a nurse, was appointed lieutenant colonel in the Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent U.S. military rank.

In 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock 'n' roll era.

In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if U.S. forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.

In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 jetliner crashed in Kenner, La., shortly after takeoff from New Orleans, killing 154 people.

In 1992, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton picked U.S. Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., as his running mate.

In 2002 sports, the All-Star baseball game ended in an 11-inning, 7-7 tie when Commissioner Bud Selig halted proceedings saying the teams had run out of pitchers.

In 2003, the director of South Korea's intelligence service said North Korea has carried out some 70 high-explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons development.

In 2004, a report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence accused the CIA and other intelligence agencies of producing false and misleading pre-war information about Iraq's weapons program.

Also, in 2004, the International Court of Justice told Israel to tear down or re-route the 400-mile barrier being built on the Palestinian territory border to thwart attacks.

In 2005, London police continued the grim task of recovering bodies from the city's underground subway system where terrorists set off three well-coordinated bombing attacks killing 57 people and wounding more than 700 others.

In 2006, a Sibir Airlines Airbus from Moscow taking children to a vacation area in Siberia crashed, killing more than 100 people, including many of the young travelers.

Also in 2006, Shiite gunmen on a rampage in a predominantly Sunni district of Baghdad killed at least 40 people, including unarmed women and children.

And, four U.S. soldiers were charged with raping a young Iraqi woman and killing her along with her family.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush defied a congressional subpoena, citing executive privilege, ordering him to turn over documents relating to the firing of nine U.S. prosecutors in 2006.

Also in 2007, four Islamic men were convicted of trying to bomb the London transit system in July 2005. All were sentenced to life in prison. Their failed plot followed the July 7, 2005, London transit attack that killed 52 people.

In 2008, the Iranian military reportedly test-fired nine missiles, including one that Tehran claimed can reach Israel. One report said a picture of the initial firing appeared to be doctored. The United States and Israel condemned the tests.

Also in 2008, the U.S. Senate passed the reauthorization of the federal government's wiretapping laws. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act set the parameters for investigators when wiretapping phones and reading e-mail of suspected foreign terrorists but trims provisions immunizing telecommunication companies.

In 2009, Tanzanian officials said 13 bodies and debris washed up onto an Indian Ocean island, believed to have been from the Yemeni airliner that crashed a week earlier killing all but one of the 153 persons aboard.

A thought for the day: David McCord said, "Life is the garment we continually alter but which never seems to fit."

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