The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 24, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2012 with 311 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 day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Wilhelm Grimm, historian and, with his brother Jacob, compiler of "Grimm's Fairy Tales," in 1786; painter Winslow Homer in 1836; Irish author George Moore in 1852; baseball Hall of Fame member Honus Wagner in 1874; Adm. Chester Nimitz, World War II commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, in 1885; actors Marjorie Main in 1890, Abe Vigoda in 1921 (age 91), James Farentino in 1938 (age 74), Barry Bostwick in 1945 (age 67), Edward James Olmos in 1947 (age 65) and Helen Shaver in 1951 (age 61); composer Michel Legrand in 1932 (age 80); co-founder of Nike Phil Knight in 1938 (age 74); U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., in 1942 (age 70); guitarist George Thorogood in 1950 (age 62); Steven Jobs, founder of the Apple computer company, in 1955; race car driver Alain Prost, also in 1955 (age 57); baseball Hall of Fame member Eddie Murray and TV personality Paula Zahn, both in 1956 (age 56); actor Billy Zane in 1966 (age 46); the Kienast quintuplets of Liberty Corner, N.J., in 1970 (age 42); boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, in 1977 (age 35); and tennis player Lleyton Hewitt in 1981 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court established the principle of judicial review with its Marbury vs. Madison decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall.

In 1868, Andrew Johnson became the first U.S. president to be impeached. He was acquitted in the Senate trial.

Also in 1868, the first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans to include floats marched.

In 1920, a group of Germans organized the National Socialist party, forerunner of the Nazi party later led by Adolf Hitler.

In 1922, Henri Landru, better known as "Bluebeard," was executed in France for killing 10 of his girlfriends.

In 1945, U.S. troops liberated the Philippine city of Manila from the Japanese.

In 1946, Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

In 1970, National Public Radio was founded.

In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional an Indianapolis law that defined pornography as discrimination against women.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court defended the right to satirize public figures when it voted 8-0 to overturn a $200,000 settlement awarded the Rev. Jerry Falwell over the parody of him in Hustler magazine.

In 1989, nine people were killed when a 10-by-40-foot section of a United Airlines 747 ripped away from the jetliner's outer skin while en route from Hawaii to New Zealand.

In 1991, U.S.-led forces began a lightning, multipronged ground assault against Iraq.

In 1992, General Motors announced a record $4.5 billion loss in 1991 and said it would close 21 plants and idle 74,000 workers over four years.

Also in 1992, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled two designs for a commemorative stamp honoring Elvis Presley -- one showing him as a young rock-and-roll singer, the other at the height of his success in Las Vegas.

In 1993, rock veteran Eric Clapton took home seven Grammy Awards for his emotion-packed "Tears In Heaven" and bluesy "Layla."

In 1995, diver Greg Louganis, who won four gold medals in the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988, revealed he had AIDS.

In 1996, Cuba shot down two unarmed planes flown by pilots belonging to a Cuban exile group who were looking for boat people to rescue.

In 1997, a nationally televised funeral for China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping was held at a military hospital in Beijing.

In 2002, the Winter Olympics concluded at Salt Lake City with the United States winning 34 medals, 10 of them gold, its most medals in Winter Games history and one fewer than medals champ Germany.

In 2003, at least 260 people were killed in an earthquake in northwest China as the tremor flattened thousands of houses and other buildings. The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

Also in 2003, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the U.N. Security Council declaring that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has missed a "final opportunity" to disarm peacefully.

In 2004, an earthquake struck Morocco, killing about 600 people and injuring hundreds more.

In 2007, a bombing near a Sunni mosque outside Baghdad killed at least 35 people, signaling an end to a downturn in sectarian violence.

In 2008, at least 52 Shiite pilgrims headed to the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala to celebrate Arbaeen were killed in an attack at a rest stop. Four others were killed the next day by suicide bombers.

Also in 2008, consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced he would run for president again as an independent.

In 2009, in his first address as chief executive to a joint session of Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke of the necessity of immediate action to resurrect the flailing economy and of plans for investing in energy, healthcare and education.

Also in 2009, Taliban insurgents in Pakistan's militarily strategic Swat Valley agreed to a cease-fire leaving them in charge of the area near the Afghan border and about 100 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

In 2010, in what was described as the largest yearly decline since the 1940s, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. report said lending by U.S. banks fell in 2009 to $587 billion, down 7.5 percent from the previous year.

Also in 2010, transportation officials said the first of 150 advanced screening machines, capable of detecting explosives, were expected to be operational in U.S. airports within two weeks.

In 2011, fighting erupted in western Ivory Coast near the Liberian border as Laurent Gbagbo sought to remain president after losing an election to Alassane Ouattara.

Also in 2011, more than 50 Somali refugees seeking to escape violence at home apparently drowned when their small boat bound for Yemen capsized in the Gulf of Aden, the United Nations reported.

A thought for the day: Harry Millner said, "There are many paths to the top of the mountain but only one view."

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