The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, June 11, the 163rd day of 2012 with 203 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 English playwright/poet Ben Jonson in 1572;German composer Richard Strauss in 1864; Montana's Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1880; undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau in 1910; football coach Vince Lombardi in 1913; author William Styron in 1925; member of the U.S. House of Representatives Charles B. Rangel in 1930 (age 82); actors Gene Wilder in 1933 (age 79), Chad Everett in 1936 (age 76) and Adrienne Barbeau in 1945 (age 67); Scottish auto racer Jackie Stewart in 1939 (age 73); rock drummer Frank Beard in 1949 (age 63); football Hall of Fame member Joe Montana in 1956 (age 56); TV host Dr. Mahmet Oz, in 1960 (age 52); and actors Hugh Laurie in 1959 (age 53), Joshua Jackson in 1978 (age 34) and Shia LaBeouf in 1986 (age 26).

On this date in history:

In 1776, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman appointed by Continental Congress to write a declaration of independence for the American colonies from England.

In 1919, Sir Barton became the first horse to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

In 1920, U.S. Sen. Warren G. Harding, R-Ohio, was chosen as the "dark horse" Republican presidential candidate. That November, he was elected the 29th U. S. president.

In 1927, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge welcomed Charles Lindbergh home after the pilot made history's first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, New York to Paris.

In 1963, facing federalized Alabama National Guard troops, Gov. George Wallace ended his blockade of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and allowed two African-Americans to enroll.

In 1967, the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ended with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire. The outnumbered Israel forces achieved a swift and decisive victory in the brief war.

In 1985, Karen Ann Quinlan died at age 31 in a New Jersey nursing home, nearly 10 years after she lapsed into an irreversible coma. Her condition had sparked a nationwide controversy over her "right to die."

In 1987, Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win three consecutive terms.

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an anti-flag burning law passed by Congress in 1989, reigniting calls for a constitutional amendment.

Also in 1990, former Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter was sentenced to six months in prison, becoming the first Iran-Contra defendant to receive prison time in the arms-for-hostages scandal.

In 1993, North Korea said it would suspend its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In 1994, after 49 years, the Russian military occupation of what had been East Germany ended with the departure of the Red Army from Berlin.

In 2003, an explosion aboard a Jerusalem bus killed at least 13 people and injured 53 others.

In 2004, a second service was conducted for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, attended by President George W. Bush, the four living ex-presidents and world leaders. The body was flown to California for burial.

In 2005, the world's richest countries agreed to a debt relief deal for the poorest nations, writing off $40 billion in debt.

In 2008, a U.S. air and ground attack aimed at Taliban militants on the Afghan border killed 11 Pakistan paramilitary forces, angering Pakistan and increasing tension with the United States.

In 2009, the World Health Organization raised its swine flu warning to Level 6, highest point in its 1-6 scale, and said further spread was considered "inevitable."

In 2010, U.S. retail sales fell 1.2 percent in May after a rise of 0.6 percent the previous month. It was the first decline since the fall of 2009, much of which was attributed to fewer purchases of building materials.

Also in 2010, flash floods swept across Arkansas campgrounds, killing at least 18 people.

In 2011, China's third tropical storm of the year lashed the nation with high wind, heavy rain, flooding and landslides. By the second day, officials counted 94 dead.

Also in 2011, the leader of al-Qaida in East Africa, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, was killed in a shootout with Somali soldiers at a checkpoint in Mogadishu.

A thought for the day: John Keats wrote, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." And it was also Keats who wrote, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty ... that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

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