The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 9, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, June 9, the 161st day of 2012 with 205 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include Russian Czar Peter the Great in 1672; composer Cole Porter in 1891; composer, conductor, inventor Fred Waring in 1900; actor Robert Cummings in 1910; guitarist and recording pioneer Les Paul in 1915; Robert S. McNamara, former U.S. defense secretary and World Bank president, in 1916; journalist Marvin Kalb in 1930 (age 82); comedian Jackie Mason in 1931 (age 81); soul singer Jackie Wilson in 1934; sportscaster Dick Vitale in 1939 (age 73); writer Patricia Cornwell in 1956 (age 56); writer and producer Aaron Sorkin in 1961 (age 51); and actors Michael J. Fox in 1961 (age 51), Johnny Depp in 1963 (age 49), Gloria Reuben in 1964 (age 48) and Natalie Portman in 1981 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1534, French navigator Jacques Cartier became the first European explorer to discover the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec, Canada.

In 1898, Britain leased Hong Kong from China for 99 years. The territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

In 1934, Donald Duck made his first screen appearance in "The Wise Little Hen."

In 1943, The U.S. Congress passed an act authorizing employers to withhold income tax payments from salary checks.

In 1973, Secretariat won racing's Triple Crown with a spectacular victory in the Belmont Stakes, first horse to do so since Citation in 1948. Earlier, Secretariat had captured the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

In 1984, an Italian prosecutor's report linked the Bulgarian secret service to the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Three Bulgarians were indicted but a trial failed to prove charges against them.

In 1993, Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito married former diplomat Masako Owada in Tokyo.

In 1998, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar was sworn in as Nigeria's military ruler, one day after the death of Gen. Sani Abacha of a heart attack.

In 2003, former U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton's memoir "Living History" sold 200,000 copies the first day.

Also in 2003, North Korea said it needed to develop nuclear weapons to save costs by reducing conventional forces and had no plan for nuclear blackmail.

In 2004, the body of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan was flown to Washington for a state funeral. Earlier, more than 100,000 mourners paid their respects at the Reagan presidential library in California.

In 2005, after weeks of protests, Bolivian President Carlos Mesa resigned.

In 2006, the new Iraqi Cabinet was completed with the appointments of ministers of defense, interior and national security.

In 2007, thousands took to Rome's streets to protest U.S. President George W. Bush's visit, clashing with police, who responded with tear gas. The following day, Bush was greeted with enthusiasm when he became the first U.S. president to visit Albania.

In 2008, Internet providers Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner agreed to block access nationwide to Web sites that distribute child pornography.

Also in 2008, a human rights group charged that the Zimbabwean government was responsible for at least 36 political killings ahead of a presidential runoff election between President Robert Mugabe and challenger Morgan Tsvangirai.

In 2009, 10 major Wall Street financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, received permission from the U.S. Treasury to repay a portion of the government issued, taxpayer-funded bailouts they had received.

Also in 2009, militants struck a luxury hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, with guns and a car filled with explosives, killing 11 and wounding many others.

In 2010, the United Nations passed another set of sanctions against Iran's nuclear program, a move strongly supported by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Also in 2010, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned members of a House budget panel that the country's finances were "on an unsustainable path."

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that fleeing from police can be considered a violent felony when sentencing a defendant to a more lengthy prison term.

A thought for the day: Henri-Frederic Amiel defined charm as "the quality in others that makes us more satisfied with ourselves."

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