The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 8, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2012 with 358 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 financier Nicholas Biddle in 1786; educator and hymn writer Lowell Mason ("Nearer My God To Thee") in 1792; James Longstreet, Confederate general in the Civil War, in 1821; publisher Frank Doubleday in 1862; reading teacher Evelyn Wood in 1909; actor Jose Ferrer in 1912; comic actor Larry Storch in 1923 (age 89); comedian Soupy Sales in 1926; music impresario Bill Graham in 1931; newsman Charles Osgood in 1933 (age 79); rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley in 1935; singer Shirley Bassey in 1937 (age 75); game show host Bob Eubanks in 1938 (age 74); British comedian Graham Chapman in 1941; actor Yvette Mimieux and physicist and author Stephen Hawking, both in 1942 (age 70); author Terry Brooks in 1944 (age 68); radio talk show host Kojo Nnamdi in 1945 (age 67); and singer David Bowie in 1947 (age 65).

On this date in history:

In 1790, U.S. President George Washington gave the first State of the Union address.

In 1815, the forces of U.S. Gen. Andrew Jackson decisively defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the closing engagement of the War of 1812.

In 1867, the U.S. Congress approved legislation that allowed blacks to vote in the District of Columbia.

In 1916, Allied forces staged a full retreat from the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, ending a disastrous invasion of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in 250,000 Allied casualties.

In 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson delivered his "Fourteen Points" speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

In 1976, Chinese Premier Chou En-lai died in Beijing.

In 1987, Kay Orr was inaugurated in Lincoln, Neb., as the nation's first woman Republican governor.

Also in 1987, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 2,000 for the first time.

In 1991, Pan American World Airways filed for bankruptcy.

In 1993, thousands gathered at Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis to purchase the first issue of a stamp honoring the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" on what would have been his 58th birthday.

In 1997, a report by University of Texas scientists concluded that exposure to a combination of chemicals was linked to Gulf War Syndrome, responsible for the various ailments reported by veterans of the 1991 conflict.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a major education bill that mandated annual testing for students in grades 3-8 and called for tutors for poor schools. The bill was known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

In 2005, the U.S. military said an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, hit the wrong target, demolishing a civilian home and killing 14 people.

In 2006, a fire swept through a one-story wooden orphanage in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and killed 13 disabled children. Seventy-one others escaped.

Also in 2006, 12 U.S. military personnel were killed when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq.

In 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced he would nationalize the nation's telecommunications and electric power industries controlled by U.S. companies.

Also in 2007, more than 17,000 Iraqi civilians and police officers died violently since July, three times as many as in the first half of 2006, officials said.

In 2008, a series of tornadoes caused by record-breaking temperatures killed at least six people, destroyed houses and flooded roads in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Also in 2008, U.S. troops opened a major offensive in Iraq to drive Sunni insurgents from strongholds in Diyala province.

In 2009, signs of a worsening of the British economy led the Bank of England to cut a key interest rate to 1.5 percent, lowest level in the bank's 315-year history.

In 2010, the U.S. economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, dampening hopes that a favorable November report indicated improving conditions. The unemployment rate remained steady at 10 percent.

In 2011, six people were killed and 13 others were wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., when a gunman armed with a semiautomatic pistol opened fire at a political meeting in a Tucson mall. Giffords, 40, was shot in the head but showed impressive progress through prolonged rehabilitation. The alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, 22, was ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial.

A thought for the day: William Feather said, "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."

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