The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Feb. 2, the 33rd day of 2012 with 333 to follow.

This is Groundhog Day in the United States.


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 French statesman Charles de Talleyrand in 1754; psychologist Havelock Ellis in 1859; Irish novelist James Joyce in 1882; Charles Correll, Andy of radio's "Amos and Andy" program, in 1890; National Football League co-founder George Halas in 1895; hotel magnate Howard Johnson in 1897;violinist Jascha Heifetz in 1901; novelist Ayn Rand in 1905; columnist Liz Smith in 1923 (age 89); actor Elaine Stritch in 1925 (age 87); musician Stan Getz in 1927; comedian Tom Smothers in 1937 (age 75); singers Graham Nash in 1942 (age 70), Eva Cassidy in 1963 and Shakira in 1977 (age 35); actor Farrah Fawcett in 1947; model Christie Brinkley in 1954 (age 58); and actor Michael T. Weiss in 1962 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1653, the city of New Amsterdam was incorporated. It later was renamed New York City.

In 1848, the war between the United States and Mexico formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It provided for Mexico's cession to the U.S. of the territory that became the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado and Wyoming in exchange for $15 million.

In 1876, the National Baseball League was formed, with teams in Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; New York; Philadelphia; St. Louis; Louisville, Ky.; and Hartford, Conn.

In 1887, Groundhog Day was celebrated for the first time in Punxsutawney, Pa.

In 1933, two days after becoming chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered dissolution of the German Parliament.

In 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk announced he would free Nelson Mandela and lift a 30-year ban on the African National Congress. Mandela was released nine days later.

In 1993, more than 7,500 United Mine Workers miners went on strike against the Peabody Coal Co., the nation's largest coal producer.

Also in 1993, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton banned smoking in the White House.


In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton submitted the first balanced federal budget in 29 years.

In 2002, a report requested by the board of directors of the Enron Corp. accused top executives of forcing the company into bankruptcy by, among other things, inflating profits by almost $1 billion.

In 2003, Vaclav Havel, the playwright who became a president, stepped down after his second five-year term as head of the Czech Republic.

In 2004, the Bush administration said a bipartisan commission would investigate why pre-war intelligence reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction apparently had been wrong.

In 2004 sports, Roger Federer took over the No. 1 ranking in men's tennis. He held the position for a record 237 weeks.

In 2005, in a wide-ranging State of the Union address, U.S. President George Bush said that U.S. troops would remain in Iraq until Iraqis can provide their own security.

In 2007, hundreds of scientists taking part in a U.N.-sponsored study concluded in a report that human activity was to blame for global warming, largely through greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

In 2008, a reported 2,000 rebels stormed Chad's capital city of N'Djamena in an unsuccessful attempt to oust President Idriss Deby. A cease-fire went into effect two days later with an estimated toll of 400 civilians dead.


In 2009, Congress moved closer to passing a $787 billion stimulus bill intended to boost America's struggling economy through tax cuts and new federal spending.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama introduced a $30 billion loan program that would use bank bailout money to help small businesses get loans.

In 2011, the death toll rose rapidly in clashes between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt as huge crowds of protesters fought to oust President Hosni Mubarak.

Also in 2011, the U.S. Senate voted along party lines to reject a Republican-sponsored bill to repeal the healthcare reform law enacted in 2010.

A thought for the day: Robert Frost said, "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."

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