The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Jan. 2, the second day of 2012, with 364 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include Virginia patriot Nathaniel Bacon in 1647; British Gen. James Wolfe, hero of the battle of Quebec, in 1727; U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., in 1909; author Isaac Asimov in 1920; singer Julius La Rosa in 1930 (age 82) and singer/songwriter Roger Miller in 1936; former televangelist Jim Bakker in 1940 (age 72); zoologist Jack Hanna in 1947 (age 65); journalist Judith Miller in 1948 (age 64); actors Tia Carrere in 1967 (age 45), Cuba Gooding Jr. in 1968 (age 44) and Taye Diggs in 1971 (age 41); model Christy Turlington in 1969 (age 43); and actor Kate Bosworth in 1983 (age 29).


On this date in history:

In 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution, the fourth of the original 13 colonies to do so, and was admitted to the union.

In 1811, Timothy Pickering, a Federalist from Massachusetts, became the first U.S. senator to be censured after being accused of publicly revealing secret presidential documents.

In 1942, Japanese forces occupied Manila, forcing U.S. and Philippine forces under U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur to withdraw to the Bataan peninsula.

In 1959, the Soviet Union launched Lunik-1, the first unmanned spacecraft to travel to the moon.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon signed a bill requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph or lose federal highway funds.

In 1990, Britain's most wanted terrorist suspect, Patrick Sheehy, was found dead in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2004, more than 200 people died in northern India because of a prolonged cold spell.

In 2005, U.S. helicopters began dropping supplies on remote sections of Aceh province in Indonesia, devastated by Southeast Asia's earthquake and tsunami. Airdrops also were under way in parts of India.

Also in 2005, a suicide car bomb killed 18 members of the Iraqi military and a civilian in Baghdad.


In 2006, 12 men were killed in a methane gas explosion in a West Virginia coal mine. One man was found alive after 41 hours trapped underground.

Also in 2006, at least 11 people were killed when the roof of a German skating rink at Bad Reichenhall collapsed.

In 2007, national and world dignitaries attended a funeral ceremony in Washington's National Cathedral for former president Gerald Ford, who died a week earlier at 93. Burial followed the next day at the Ford presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Mich.

In 2009, in a very tight runoff after an even tighter general election, John Atta Mills was elected president of Ghana with 50.2 percent of the vote, edging Nana Akufo-Addo.

In 2010, Danish police charged a Somali man with attempted manslaughter after he allegedly tried to break into the home of a cartoonist who angered Muslims with a 2005 series of drawings depicting Mohammed.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Sept. 11 health bill guaranteeing medical access for rescue workers, residents and others suffering from health problems connected to the 2001 World Trade Center attack.

Also in 2011, Prince Harry, grandson of England's Queen Elizabeth II, was sent home from military service in Afghanistan when a magazine revealed his presence. However, he returned later to the front line to continue training as a gunship pilot.


A thought for the day: an anonymous saying is, "He who dies with the most toys is, nonetheless, still dead."

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