The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Tuesday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2012 with 314 to follow.

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


Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Mexican revolutionary and military commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (conqueror of the Alamo) in 1794; Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1801; German bacteriologist August von Wassermann, who developed the blood test for syphilis, in 1866; classical guitarist Andres Segovia in 1893; writer Anais Nin in 1903; poet and author W.H. Auden in 1907; filmmaker Sam Peckinpah in 1925; humorist Erma Bombeck in 1927; Norway King Harald V in 1937 (age 75); actors Rue McClanahan in 1934, Gary Lockwood in 1937 (age 75) and Tyne Daly, Anthony Daniels and Alan Rickman, all in 1946 (age 66); film/record executive David Geffen in 1943 (age 69); Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in 1946 (age 66); U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, in 1947 (age 65); singer Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1958 (age 54); actors Kelsey Grammer in 1955 (age 57), Christopher Atkins in 1961 (age 51), William Baldwin in 1963 (age 49), Jennifer Love Hewitt in 1979 (age 33) and Ellen Page in 1987 (age 25); Chinese dissident Chen Wei in 1969 (age 43); and singer Charlotte Church in 1986 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1828, a printing press later used to print the first newspaper for American Indians arrived at the Cherokee Council in Echota, Ga.

In 1848, "The Communist Manifesto" was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

In 1878, the New Haven, Conn., Telephone Company published the first phone directory. It listed 50 subscribers.

In 1885, the Washington Monument, a 555-foot-high marble obelisk built in honor of America's revolutionary hero and first president, was dedicated in Washington.

In 1916, the Germans launched the Battle of Verdun, World War I's single longest battle. It lasted almost 10 months and left more than 1 million soldiers on both sides dead.

In 1925, the first issue of The New Yorker was published.

In 1934, Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Cesar Augusto Sandino was killed by members of the Nicaraguan national guard.

In 1953, Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.

In 1965, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally in New York.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.

In 1994, longtime CIA counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames and his wife were arrested and charged with selling information to the Soviet Union and Russia.


In 1995, a Russian commission estimated as many as 24,400 civilians died in the two-month uprising in the separatist republic of Chechnya.

In 2005, heavy snowfall in Indian-controlled Kashmir claimed more than 100 lives with dozens missing.

In 2007, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he wanted to start returning some of the country's 7,200 soldiers home from Iraq by the end of the year.

Also in 2007, nuclear neighbors India and Pakistan signed a treaty in New Delhi aimed at preventing the accidental use of atomic weapons.

In 2009, About 100 miners were trapped by an explosion in an underground coal mine in northern China. The miners were among a crew of 436 working in a mine at Gujiao City.

In 2010, heavy rains triggered mudslides and floods on the Portuguese island of Madeira that killed 40 people and injured more than 100 others.

In 2011, 53 people, including four police officers, were killed in a 72-hour period in violence-plagued Juarez, Mexico. Drug traffickers were the chief suspects.

Also in 2011, about 2,000 villagers at the base of Mount Bulusan in the Philippines were evacuated after the volcano spewed ash during a 19-minute eruption.

A thought for the day: David Russell said, "The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn."


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