The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 20, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Sept. 20th, the 263rd day of 2011 with 102 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 include novelist Upton Sinclair in 1878; Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny, who pioneered the care of polio victims, in 1880; musician Jelly Roll Morton in 1885, basketball Hall of Fame Coach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach and actor Fernando Rey, both in 1917; fashion designer James Galanos in 1924 (age 87), actors Anne Meara in 1929 (age 82) and Sophia Loren in 1934 (age 77); hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur in 1951 (age 60); actors Gary Cole in 1956 (age 55) and Kristen Johnston in 1967 (age 44); and musicians Gunnar and Matthew Nelson in 1967 (age 44).

On this date in history:

In 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan began a voyage to find a western passage to the East Indies.

In 1873, financial chaos forced the New York Stock Exchange to close. It remained closed for 10 days.

In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival opened on the French Riviera. An earlier attempt to begin the international movie showcase in 1939 was halted by the outbreak of World War II.

In 1966, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the Cunard liner bearing her name, often shortened to QE-2, which eventually became the only ocean liner on the once thriving trans-Atlantic route.

In 1984, Muslim militants bombed the U.S. Embassy annex in Lebanon, killing 23 people, including two Americans. It was the third terrorist attack on U.S. installations in Beirut in 17 months.

In 1991, the Cambodian government and three rebel factions agreed on a form of future U.N.-supervised elections.

In 2000, the 6-year Whitewater investigation of U.S. President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton ended without any indictments being issued. Independent Counsel Robert Ray said there was insufficient evidence to establish criminal wrongdoing.

In 2001, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was named to lead the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In 2002, Israeli forces demolished all but one building of the office compound of Palestinian chief Yasser Arafat after a suicide bomber killed seven people on a Tel Aviv bus.

In 2003, armies of technicians in the Mid-Atlantic states worked to restore power to 2.5 million customers still in the dark from Hurricane Isabel. The storm left at least 25 dead in seven states.

In 2004, CBS News said it regretted broadcasting a controversial report about U.S. President George W. Bush's military service duty, saying its source misled the network.

In 2005, the Bush administration's disapproval rating reached a reported all-time high of 58 percent in a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll.

In 2006, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush "the devil" in a U.N. speech and accused the United States of trying to dominate the world.

Also in 2006, a poll indicated that U.S. voters had an "overwhelmingly negative" opinion of the Republican-led U.S. Congress.

In 2007, Norman Hsu, a major Democratic fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, was charged with defrauding investors of $60 million. Clinton said funds donated on her behalf would be returned.

Also in 2007, the U.S. dollar dropped to record lows against the euro in a week of trading, beginning on this date.

In 2008, the White House formally announced a vast bailout plan for U.S. financial institutions including full authority for the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in so-called toxic mortgage-related assets to restore confidence among investors and banks reluctant to make loans.

Also in 2008, more than 50 people were killed and hundreds injured when a truck bomb exploded outside the popular Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan.

In 2009, with no timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, officials said the United States was in the midst of a massive buildup of CIA and other intelligence resources in that country similar to operations in Iraq and Vietnam.

In 2010, the U.S. recession, called the longest since World War II, beginning in December 2007, ended in June 2009, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced in a committee report. However, despite some signs of economic recovery, unemployment remained high.

A thought for the day: American preacher, physician and suffragist Anna Howard Shaw said, "It is better to be true to what you believe, though that be wrong, than to be false to what you believe, even if that belief is correct."

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