The almanac

United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2011 with 318 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include historian Henry Brooks Adams in 1838; orchestra leader Wayne King and actor Chester Morris, both in 1901; ventriloquist Edgar Bergen in 1903; actor Hugh Beaumont in 1909; singer Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters in 1918 (age 93); actor Vera-Ellen in 1921; U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif. (also part of the comedy/song team Sonny and Cher) in 1935; North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 1941 (age 70); actors William Katt in 1951 (age 80) and Margaux Hemingway (granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway) in 1954; actor/director LeVar Burton in 1957 (age 54), actor and rapper Ice-T in 1958 (age 53); and tennis star John McEnroe in 1959 (age 52).

On this date in history:

In 1923, archaeologists opened the treasure-laden tomb of Tutankhamen, "King Tut," in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

In 1933, a patent for the synthetic fiber nylon was awarded to the DuPont Co.


In 1959, Fidel Castro was sworn in as Cuba's leader and set up a Communist regime.

In 1986, Mario Soares was elected Portugal's first civilian head of state in 60 years.

In 1990, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan provided videotaped testimony for the Iran-Contra trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter.

In 1992, the chief of the Iranian-financed Hezbollah and two family members were killed in a bombing raid by Israel in an apparent retaliation for attacks against its soldiers.

Also in 1992, the Los Angeles Lakers retired the jersey number of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who stepped down after contracting the virus that causes AIDS.

In 1999, Germany announced that $1.7 billion would be set aside to compensate victims of the Holocaust.

Also in 1999, Northern Ireland's legislature approved the structure for a new executive government in the strife-torn province -- a major step toward implementing the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

In 2003, a massive storm hit the Northeastern United States resulting in record snowfall in several locations, including Boston, which caught 27.5 inches.

Also in 2003, North Korea celebrated the 61st birthday of President Kim Jong Il with nationwide celebrations and a threat to "annihilate" the United States if attacked.


In 2004, a draft survey showed U.S. children accused more than 4,000 Roman Catholic priests of sexual abuse from 1950-2002.

In 2005, The National Hockey League canceled its entire season after a five-month lockout.

Also in 2005, a new survey said China had become the world's biggest consumer of agricultural and industrial goods, except for oil, in which the United States still had the lead.

In 2006, former Haitian President Rene Preval was declared winner of the Feb. 7 presidential election in Haiti.

Also in 2006, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights called on the U.S. government to "close immediately the detention center in Guantanamo Bay."

In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush flew to Benin on the first stop of a five-nation trip to some of the poorest countries in Africa. Bush highlighted his record of fighting the AIDS pandemic.

In 2009, Japan reported its domestic product fell at a 12.7 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2008, plunging the country into what experts say was its worst financial crisis since World War II.

In 2010, Pakistani and U.S. forces reported they had arrested Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top Taliban military commander, in Karachi, Pakistan.

Also in 2010, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's 68th birthday was celebrated in the country with songs and dances.


A thought for the day: it was Steve Wozniak who said, "Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

Latest Headlines