The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Jan. 12, the 12th day of 2012 with 354 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French fairy tale writer Charles Perrault, author of the Mother Goose stories, in 1628; British statesman

Edmund Burke in 1729; painter John Singer Sargent in 1856; novelist Jack London in 1876; World War II Nazi leader Hermann Goering in 1893; western singer/actor Tex Ritter in 1905; mentalist The Amazing Kreskin (born George Joseph Kresge) in 1935 (age 77); champion heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier in 1944; radio personalities Rush Limbaugh in 1951 (age 61) and Howard Stern in 1954 (age 58); news personality Christiane Amanpour in 1958 (age 54); actors Kirstie Alley in 1951 (age 61) and Oliver Platt in 1960 (age 52); founder Jeff Bezos in 1964 (age 48); musician and film director Rob Zombie in 1965 (age 47); Heather Mills, activist, and former wife of Paul McCartney, in 1968 (age 44).

On this date in history:

In 1828, boundary disputes were settled between the United States and Mexico.

In 1921, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis elected the first commissioner of Major League Baseball.

In 1932, Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

In 1943, the U.S. wartime Office of Price Administration said standard frankfurters would be replaced during World War II by "Victory Sausages" consisting of a mixture of meat and soy meal.

In 1971, a U.S. grand jury indicted the Rev. Philip Berrigan and five other people, including a nun and two priests, on charges of plotting to kidnap presidential adviser Henry Kissinger.

In 1976, the U.N. Security Council voted 11-1 to seat the Palestine Liberation Organization for its debate on the Middle East. The United States cast the dissenting vote.

In 1986, U.S. Rep. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., traveled into space aboard the shuttle Columbia.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton asked Attorney General Janet Reno to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the Whitewater land deal affair that involved him and the first lady.

In 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton and congressional leaders agreed on a bailout package that would give Mexico as much as $40 billion in loan guarantees. After Congress failed to vote quickly on the deal, Clinton invoked emergency authority to lend Mexico $20 billion.

In 2003, Maurice Gibb, 53, one of three singing brothers who made up the Bee Gees and performed on the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever," died of complications from an intestinal blockage.

In 2005, The Southern California death toll from rain, flood and mudslides rose to 19.

Also in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that an alien can be deported to a country without the advance consent of that country's government.

In 2006, around 350 people were crushed to death by a stampeding crowd at the entrance to Jamarat Bridge in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during a pilgrimage to Mecca.

In 2007, the former head of the Bangladesh central bank, Fakhruddin Ahmed, was named head of the caretaker government, replacing President Iajuddin Ahmed.

In 2008, some banned officials of the Saddam Hussein Baathist party were allowed to again hold government positions under legislation passed by the Iraqi Parliament.

In 2009, Democrats cleared the way for Roland Burris to assume President-elect Barack Obama's vacated seat in the U.S. Senate. The seating had been held up pending an investigation into the appointment by impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale dealt Haiti and its capital Port-au-Prince a devastating blow, the region's worst quake in 200 years. Death estimates eventually surpassed the 200,000 mark as many sections of the city and thousands of homes were leveled.

Also in 2010, U.S. Internet search giant Google threatened to stop cooperating with China's censorship terms and possibly leave the country altogether in a dispute over China-based hackers accused of breaking into e-mail accounts.

And in sports, former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire admitted that he used illegal steroids for several years, including the season in which he hit a record 70 home runs.

In 2011, the Lebanese government, in turmoil since the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, toppled after 11 Cabinet members resigned and Hezbollah withdrew.

A thought for the day: It was Otto von Bismarck who said, "Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made."

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