The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Sept. 26, the 269th day of 2011 with 96 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 frontier nurseryman "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman in 1774; poet T.S. Eliot in 1888; German philosopher Martin Heidegger in 1889; actor George Raft in 1895; Pope Paul VI in 1897; composer George Gershwin in 1898; bandleader Ted Weems in 1901; fitness expert Jack LaLanne in 1914; actor Julie London in 1926; country singers Marty Robbins in 1925 and Lynn Anderson in 1947 (age 64); Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 1932 (age 79); actors Donna Douglas in 1933 (age 78) and Kent McCord in 1942 (age 69); ; film producer Jerry Weintraub in 1937 (age 74); actor Mary Beth Hurt and singer Olivia Newton-John, both in 1948 (age 63); actors Linda Hamilton in 1956 (age 55) and Melissa Sue Anderson in 1962 (age 49); and tennis star Serena Williams in 1981 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia.

In 1950, U.N. troops took the South Korean capital of Seoul from North Korean forces.

In 1960, the first televised presidential debate aired from a Chicago TV studio. It featured presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

In 1983, the yacht Australia II won the America's Cup from the United States, ending the longest winning streak in sports -- 132 years.

In 1984, China and Britain initialed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese control when Britain's lease expires in 1997.

In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America, under pressure from legitimate filmmakers, adopted the "NC-17" rating -- no children under 17 allowed -- to replace the "X" rating exploited by the porn industry.

In 1991, four men and four women entered the huge, airtight greenhouse Biosphere II in Arizona. They remained inside for two years, emerging on this date in 1993.

In 1996, the space shuttle Atlantis landed, returning astronaut Shannon Lucid to Earth. Her 6-month tour aboard the Mir space station set a record for a woman in space, as well as a record stay for any U.S. astronaut.


In 2005, emergency officials said Hurricane Rita heavily damaged every house in several coastal Louisiana towns. Widespread flooding left Cameron Parish near the Texas border 15 feet under water and Iberia Parish officials said 3,000 houses were flooded.

Also in 2005, U.S. Army Pfc. Lynndie England, photographed in widely distributed pictures with inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, was convicted of conspiracy and prisoner abuse. She was sentenced to three years in prison.

In 2007, ending a walkout that lasted less than two days, the United Auto Workers union and General Motors reached a deal in which GM agreed to create a $38.5 billion trust to administer health benefits for retirees.

In 2008, with the U.S. presidential campaign in full bloom, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain squared off in their first debate, which focused on the nation's financial crisis and the war in Iraq.

In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana swept across the Philippines killing about 500 people and causing the worst flooding in that area in almost half a century. The storm then slammed into Southeast Asia where 163 died in Vietnam.

Also in 2009, filmmaker Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss authorities on an international warrant stemming from a 1977 U.S. case in which he was charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl.


In 2010, President Hugo Chavez's allies won a strong majority in Venezuela's congressional elections, which he dubbed "a solid victory" even though he lost the two-thirds majority needed to carry out major changes unopposed.

A thought for the day: poet T.S. Eliot said: "We know too much and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion and so is our religion."

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