The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2012 with 313 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include George Washington, war hero and first president of the United States, in 1732; German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in 1788; poet, diplomat and editor James Lowell in 1819; Englishman Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and German physicist Heinrich Hertz, discoverer of radio waves, both in 1857; Hall of Fame baseball umpire Bill Klem in 1874; poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in 1892; actor and TV producer Sheldon Leonard in 1907; Robert Pershing Wadlow, at 8 ft. 11.1 inches tall, the tallest person in recorded history, in 1918; actors Robert Young in 1907, John Mills in 1908 and Paul Dooley in 1928 (age 84); television announcer Don Pardo in 1918 (age 94); U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in 1932; baseball Hall of Fame member George "Sparky" Anderson in 1934; filmmaker Jonathan Demme in 1944 (age 68); basketball Hall of Fame member Julius "Dr. J" Erving and actor Julie Walters, both in 1950 (age 62); golfer Vijay Singh in 1963 (age 49); and actors Kyle MacLachlan in 1959 (age 53), Rachel Dratch in 1966 (age 46), Jeri Ryan in 1968 (age 44) and Drew Barrymore in 1975 (age 37); musician James Blunt in 1974 (age 38); and "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin in 1962.


On this date in history:

In 1819, a treaty with Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In 1855, The Pennsylvania State University was founded in State College, Pa. It was originally called the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania.

In 1862, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as president of the Confederate States of America.

In 1879, Woolworth, the first chain store, opened in Utica, N.Y.

In 1889, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington were admitted into the United States.

In 1959, the Daytona 500 was run for the first time. Lee Petty won the race.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing on a historic visit to China.

In 1973, Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan commercial airliner, killing 106 of the 113 people aboard.

In 1980, in one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of collegians and second-tier professional players, defeated the defending champion Soviet team, regarded as the world's finest, 4-3 at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 1987, artist Andy Warhol died of heart failure at age 58.

In 1991, Iraq set fire to dozens of oil facilities in occupied Kuwait.


In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to form an international war crimes tribunal to try those accused of offenses during ethnic fighting in the former Yugoslavia.

In 2004, rebels attacked a refugee camp in northern Uganda, killing at least 192 people.

In 2005, a powerful earthquake struck Iran, killing more than 500 people.

In 2006, a terrorist attack destroyed the golden dome atop the most revered Shiite shrine in Iraq, the al-Askari Mosque in Samara, touching off a wave of sectarian violence.

In 2009, at least 73 fatalities were reported in the explosion of a coal mine in northern China. There were 113 known survivors in the blast near Qujiad City.

Also in 2009, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier was sent to the Middle East to fight pirates.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his plan for a healthcare reform bill.

Also in 2010, a U.S. airstrike targeting insurgents in Kabul, Afghanistan, was reported to have killed accidentally 27 Afghan civilians.

In 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake severely damaged Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city, killing a reported 184 people and injuring as many as 2,000. The quake struck less than six months after a stronger tremor shook the same area.


A thought for the day: it was the Roman poet Ovid who advised, "Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish."

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