The almanac

By United Press International   |   Sept. 25, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2011 with 97 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 Libra. They include Bounty mutiny leader Fletcher Christian in 1764; novelist William Faulkner in 1897; sports columnist Walter "Red" Smith in 1905; Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich in 1906; baseball Hall of Fame member Phil Rizzuto in 1917; actor Aldo Ray in 1926; TV personality Barbara Walters in 1929 (age 82); composer Glenn Gould in 1932; actors Juliet Prowse in 1936 and Robert Walden in 1943 (age 68); actor/producer Michael Douglas in 1944 (age 67); model Cheryl Tiegs in 1947 (age 64); actors Mark Hamill in 1951 (age 60), Christopher Reeve and Anson Williams (age 59), both in 1952, Heather Locklear in 1961 (age 50), Tate Donovan in 1963 (age 48), Will Smith in 1968 (age 43) and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 1969 (age 42); and basketball Hall of fame member Scottie Pippen in 1965 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and became the first known European to see the Pacific Ocean.

In 1690, the first American newspaper, called "Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestic," appeared in Boston.

In 1789, the first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten were ratified and became known as "The Bill of Rights."

In 1882, the first major league baseball doubleheader was played between the Providence, R.I., and Worchester, Mass., teams.

In 1957, under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine black students entered all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman U.S. Supreme Court justice.

In 1984, Jordan announced it would restore relations with Egypt, something no Arab country had done since 17 Arab nations broke relations with Cairo over the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979.

In 1991, President Alfredo Christiani of El Salvador and five commanders of the guerrilla forces reached an agreement that was seen as prelude to a cease-fire.

In 1992, a judge in Orlando, Fla., granted a 12-year-old boy's precedent-setting petition to "divorce" his mother.

Also in 1992, NASA launched a $511 million probe to Mars in the first U.S. mission to the planet in 17 years. Eleven months later, the probe would fail.

In 1996, Israeli police opened fire on Palestinians rioting over the new tunnel entrance beneath the Temple Mount. The fighting ended four days later with about 70 people killed and hundreds injured.

In 2000, Yugoslav voters rejected incumbent Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in his bid for re-election but he refused to accept the results.

In 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives gave the Federal Trade Commission explicit authority to create a national "do not call" directory to protect against telemarketers and other unwanted telephone calls.

In 2004, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights said more than 1 million people relocated by the Darfur conflict in Sudan were living in a "climate of fear."

In 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Hurricane Rita pushed more water over crippled New Orleans-area levees that had unleashed devastating flooding to much of the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina a month earlier but didn't create additional structural damage.

In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assured the United Nations that Iran wouldn't allow "arrogant powers" to force it to give up its nuclear program. Earlier, he was denied permission to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center memorial.

In 2008, federal regulators seized Washington Mutual in what officials said was the biggest bank failure in U.S. history. Most of the "WaMu" assets were quickly sold to JP Morgan Chase for $1.9 billion.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G20 summit, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

Also, Washington reports said the number of insolvent banks closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2009 topped 100 by late September, more than four times the total in 2008.

In 2010, a federal judge gave California the go-ahead to resume executions after an almost 5-year ban while procedures were reformed and a new death chamber was built.

Also in 2010, the Afghan Election Complaints Commission said it received more than 3,000 charges of fraud in the recent parliamentary vote, including strong-arm tactics, stuffing of ballot boxes and other dubious practices.

A thought for the day: Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso said, "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."

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