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The almanac

By
United Press International

Today is Sunday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2011 with 335 to follow.

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

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, in 1882; historian Barbara Tuchman in 1912; comedian Dick Martin in 1922; theatrical producer Hal Prince in 1928 (age 83); actors Gene Hackman in 1930 (age 81) and Vanessa Redgrave in 1937 (age 74); chess champion Boris Spassky in 1937 (age 74); former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and author Gregory Benford, both in 1941 (age 70), actor Charles Dutton and singer/songwriter Phil Collins, both in 1951 (age 60); golfers Curtis Strange in 1955 (age 56) and Payne Stewart in 1957; and actor Christian Bale in 1974 (age 37).


On this date in history:

In 1649, English King Charles I was beheaded by order of Parliament.

In 1798, the first fight to break out on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives began when one congressman spat in another's face.

In 1835, a gunman fired twice on President Andrew Jackson, the first attempt on the life of a U.S. president. Jackson wasn't injured.

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In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.

In 1943, the British air force bombed Berlin in a daylight raid timed to coincide with a speech by Joseph Goebbels in honor of Hitler's 10th year in power.

In 1948, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist.

In 1968, after calling for a cease-fire during the Tet holiday celebrations, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong attacked the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, temporarily occupying the U.S. Embassy.

In 1972, in what became known as "Bloody Sunday," 13 Roman Catholics were shot to death by British troops during a banned civil rights march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

In 1979, the Iranian government announced it would let Shiite Muslim leader Ayatollah Khomeini return from exile. Washington responded by ordering the evacuation of all U.S. dependents from Iran.

In 1991, Iraqi armored forces charged out of Kuwait and engaged allied forces in Khafji, Saudi Arabia. Twelve U.S. Marines were killed in the heaviest ground fighting of the Gulf War.

In 1993, parents donated portions of their own lungs to their daughter with cystic fibrosis in pioneering transplant surgery in Los Angeles.

In 1995, 42 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in Algiers, Algeria.

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Also in 1995, the U.N. Security Council authorized deployment of 6,000 peacekeepers to Haiti.

In 1999, NATO ambassadors gave the organization authority to attack military targets in Serbia if Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic continued to violate the 1998 cease-fire negotiated with the rebels in Kosovo.

In 2003, a U.S. judge sentenced Richard Reid to life in prison for trying to set off plastic explosives in his shoes on a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001.

Also in 2003, AOL Time Warner said it was writing down the value of AOL by $35 billion and of its cable division $10 billion, bringing a total loss of assets since the 2001 merger of AOL and Time Warner to nearly $100 billion.

In 2004, Cuban President Fidel Castro, in a militant five-hour speech in Havana, accused the Bush administration of plotting to kill him.

In 2005, despite widespread violence, about 60 percent of Iraqi voters cast ballots in the country's first free election in half a century. At least 22 people died in Election Day attacks.

In 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates by one half of a percentage point in an effort to help the sagging economy while the U.S. Senate sought passage of the $161 billion economic stimulus package.

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In 2009, U.S. stock exchanges reported their weakest January in more than a century with the Dow Jones industrial average showing a one-month decline of 8.8 percent, closing at 8,000.86. The January unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 percent.

In 2010, the United Nations reported that at least 84 U.N. employees were confirmed dead in the Haitian earthquake and another 15 were missing.

Also in 2010, the last of the 3,500 travelers stranded by flooding and mudslides in Peru were flown out of the stricken area between the ancient showplace at Machu Picchu and the city of Cusco, along with about 500 others.

And, on the 62nd anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's death, his ashes were committed to the Indian Ocean in South Africa.


A thought for the day: Albert Camus said: "Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."

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