The almanac

United Press International

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2011 with 342 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include the Roman Emperor Hadrian in A.D. 76; English dramatist William Congreve in 1670; Frederick the Great of Prussia in 1712; British social reformer Edwin Chadwick in 1800; author Edith Wharton in 1862; abstract painter Robert Motherwell in 1915; sportscaster Jack Brickhouse in 1916; actor Ernest Borgnine in 1917 (age 95); evangelist Oral Roberts in 1918; ballet dancer Maria Tallchief Paschen in 1925 (age 87); musicians Doug Kershaw in 1936 (age 76) and Ray Stevens in 1939 (age 73); singers Neil Diamond and Aaron Neville, both in 1941 (age 71); actor Sharon Tate in 1943; comedian John Belushi in 1949; actor Michael Ontkean in 1946 (age 66); singer Warren Zevon in 1947; actor Nastassja Kinski in 1961 (age 51); and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton in 1968 (age 44).


On this date in history:

In 1848, gold was discovered at John Sutter's mill near Sacramento, Calif. The discovery touched off the great gold rush of 1849.

In 1908, the first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell, a general in the British army.

In 1916, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an income tax was unconstitutional.

In 1935, beer was sold in cans for the first time, in Richmond, Va.

In 1965, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill died at age 91.

In 1990, Soviet forces shelled merchant ships blockading the harbor in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.

In 1991, Saudi jet fighters shot down the first enemy planes of the Persian Gulf War, while U.S. forces sank an Iraqi minesweeper and forced Iraqi troops off an island near Kuwait.

In 1993, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the nation's highest court, died of cardiac arrest at age 84.

Also in 1993, Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the father of gospel music for adding rhythm to church hymns, died at 93.

In 1999, the International Olympic Committee expelled six IOC members amid charges that money and other compensation had been accepted from officials whose cities were bidding to host the Games.


Also in 1999, Jordan's King Hussein, who was seriously ill, named his son Abdullah crown prince. Abdullah replaced his father's younger brother as successor to the throne.

In 2003, a report said the global economic slowdown that began about two years previously had wiped out 20 million jobs, bringing total world unemployment total to 180 million people.

In 2004, after years of denials, Pakistan admitted scientists may have sold nuclear designs to other nations probably "for personal financial gain."

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to prevent the husband of Terri Schiavo from removing her life support system. Lower court rulings said the severely brain-damaged woman was in a "persistent vegetative state."

In 2007, three precision raids on predominantly Sunni-controlled areas of Baghdad allowed Iraqi and U.S. troops to regain control of the city.

Also in 2007, European defense officials said North Korea was sharing nuclear data on 2006's test explosion with Iran.

In 2008, Societe Generale, one of France's largest banks, blamed a $7 billion loss on what it called "fraudulent" stock dealings in European stock futures by an unauthorized employee.

Also in 2008, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned after losing a confidence vote in the Senate.


In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama said his proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan will be a major investment in important U.S. domestic priorities such as energy, education, healthcare and infrastructure.

In 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 carrying 90 people crashed into the Mediterranean Sea about half an hour after taking off from Beirut bound for Ethiopia. Officials said 23 people were killed.

Also in 2010, the last U.S. Marine command left Iraq in what was described as a significant step in the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country after deployment of more than six years.

And, sectarian violence in Nigeria left one village of 3,000 residents virtually empty with hundreds of people believed dead and more fleeing in fear.

In 2011, two suicide bombings at Moscow Domodedovo International Airport killed 37 people and injured 170 others in an attack at the international arrival gate.

Also in 2011, officials raised the death toll from floods and mudslides in Brazil to at least 809 with thousands homeless.

A thought for the day: Words from William Blake, "When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."


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