The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 17, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2011 with 105 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They Irvin Westheimer, who founded the American "Big Brothers" movement, in 1879; include radio news commentator Gabriel Heatter in 1890; former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1907; country music pioneer Hank Williams Sr. in 1923; football Hall of Fame member George Blanda in 1927; racecar driver Stirling Moss in 1929 (age 82); actors Roddy McDowall in 1928, David Huddleston in 1930 (age 81); Anne Bancroft in 1931 and Dorothy Loudon in 1933; tennis champion Maureen Connolly in 1934; author Ken Kesey in 1935; baseball Hall of Fame member Orlando Cepeda in 1937 (age 74); former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter in 1939 (age 72); basketball Hall of Fame member Phil Jackson in 1945 (age 66); cartoonist Jeff MacNelly in 1947; actor John Ritter in 1948; spooky movie hostess Elvira, whose real name is Cassandra Peterson, in 1951 (age 60); actor/comedian Rita Rudner in 1953 (age 58); and rapper Flo Rida in 1979 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1787, the U.S. Constitution, completed in Philadelphia, was signed by a majority of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. George McClellan attacked Confederate troops led by Gen. Robert E. Lee near Antietam Creek in Maryland. McClellan blocked Lee's advance on Washington, but fell short of victory.

In 1939, Soviet troops invaded Poland, 16 days after Nazi Germany moved into the same country.

In 1976, NASA unveiled its first space shuttle, the Enterprise, an airplane-like spacecraft costing almost $10 billion that took nearly a decade to develop.

In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords, laying the groundwork for a permanent peace agreement between Egypt and Israel after three decades of hostilities.

In 1983, Vanessa Williams of New York became the first African-American to be named Miss America. She resigned 11 months later after nude photos were published but regained stardom as a singer and actress.

In 1991, North Korea, South Korea, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were admitted to the United Nations.

In 1993, Cambodia's two leading political parties agreed that Prince Norodom Sihanouk would lead the nation. Sihanouk was installed as king a week later.

In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush said Osama bin Laden, the suspected ringleader in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was "wanted dead or alive" as Bush continued efforts to line up international support for his proposed "war on terror."

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush asked Congress for authority to use force against Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said several nations had pledged military support for offensive action against Iraq.

In 2004, the death toll from Hurricane Ivan was put at 38 in the United States and 75 in at the Caribbean.

In 2005, a car bomb in Baghdad killed at least 30 people. In another part of town, the bodies of nine men were found tortured and shot to death.

Also in 2005, New Orleans residents who ran businesses in the French Quarter, the central district and Uptown were allowed to return under a strict curfew.

In 2006, the Federal Drug Administration reported 109 cases of potentially fatal E .coli in spinach in 19 states with at least one death. The outbreak was believed to have originated in California.

In 2007, Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, quoted odds of better than 1-in-3 that the United States will have a recession soon.

In 2008, a car bomb and a rocket hit the U.S. Embassy in Yemen as staff members reported to work, killing a reported 16 people.

Also in 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an energy legislative package that would allow drilling for oil within 50 miles of American coasts.

And, the 2008 Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities came to a close in Beijing after about 4,000 competitors vied in 20 sports. Top individual performer was Australian swimmer Matt Cowdrey, an arm amputee from birth who captured five gold and three silver medals.

In 2009, the Obama administration announced it was canceling plans for a ground-based antiballistic missile shield system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Instead, the White House said, a shorter-range system would be considered for Europe.

Also in 2009, final unofficial results from Afghanistan's controversial presidential election indicated that incumbent Hamid Karzai got 54.6 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. A recount, however, was under way and the European Union said as many as 1.1 million votes appeared "suspect."

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama named Harvard University Professor Elizabeth Warren as his assistant to shape a new agency created to protect consumer financial interests.

Also in 2010, six suspects were arrested in what was described as a potential terror plot against Pope Benedict XVI during his London visit.

A thought for the day: French aviator and writer Antoine Marie Roger de Saint-Exupery said, "Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction."

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