The almanac

United Press International

Today is Tuesday, June 19, the 171st day of 2012 with 195 to follow.

The moon is new. 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 James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, in 1566; French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1623; the Duchess of Windsor, born Bessie Wallis Warfield, in 1896; Moe Howard, leader of the Three Stooges comedy act, in 1897; bandleader Guy Lombardo in 1902; baseball legend Lou Gehrig in 1903; former U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., and musician Lester Flatt, both in 1914; film critic Pauline Kael in 1919; actors Louis Jourdan in 1921, Nancy Marchand in 1928 and Gena Rowlands in 1930 (age 82); Myanmar Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 1945 (age 67); author Salman Rushdie in 1947 (age 65); actor Phylicia Rashad in 1948 (age 64); musicians Nick Drake in 1948 and Ann Wilson of Heart in 1950 (age 62); actor Kathleen Turner in 1954 (age 58); singer Paula Abdul in 1962 (age 50); political commentator Laura Ingraham in 1964 (age 48); actors Mia Sara in 1967 (age 45), Robin Tunney in 1972 (age 40) and Paul Dano in 1984 (age 28).


On this date in history:

In 325 A.D., the early Christian church opened the general council of Nicaea, which settled on rules for computing the date of Easter.

In 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention voted to strike down the Articles of Confederation and form a new government.

In 1846, two amateur baseball teams played under new rules at Hoboken, N.J., planting the first seeds of organized baseball. The New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers, 23-1.

In 1856, the first Republican national convention ended in Philadelphia with the nomination of explorer John Charles Fremont of California for president. James Buchanan, a Federalist nominated by the Democrats, was elected.

In 1867, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, installed as emperor of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III in 1864, was executed on the orders of Benito Juarez, the president of the Mexican Republic.

Also in 1867, the first running of the Belmont Stakes took place at Jerome Park, N.Y.

In 1905, Pittsburgh showman Harry Davis opened the world's first nickelodeon, showing the silent Western film "The Great Train Robbery." The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged 5 cents and prompted the advent of movie houses across the United States.


In 1910, Spokane, Wash., marked the first Father's Day.

In 1943, World War II's Battle of the Philippine Sea began, as Japan tried unsuccessfully to prevent further Allied advancement in the South Pacific.

In 1953, convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed.

In 1977, Elvis Presley made his final live concert recordings at a series of appearances in Nebraska. He died two months later.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1981 Louisiana law that required schools to teach the creationist theory of human origin espoused by fundamentalist Christians.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a plan to prohibit the export of military supplies to Iraq.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prayers led by students at public high school football games aren't permitted under the constitutional separation of church and state.

In 2005, a suicide bomber killed at least 23 people, including Iraqi police officers, in a crowded Baghdad restaurant. The next day saw suicide car bombers killed 26 policemen and security forces in Baghdad and Irbil.

Also in 2005, opponents of Syrian domination won a majority of seats in the final round of Lebanon's parliamentary elections.

In 2007, 10,000 U.S. and 3,000 Iraqi troops launched a major offensive targeting the Sunni jihadist terrorist group known as al-Qaida in Iraq in Iraq's Baquba area.


In 2008, Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, became the first at that level to bypass public financing since the program was established.

In 2009, British World War I veteran, Henry Allingham, who turned 114 on June 6, 2009, was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world's oldest man. He died about six weeks later.

In 2010, a U.N. report said the level of insurgent violence in Afghanistan jumped in the previous three months with a near doubling of roadside bombings and an increase in suicide attacks and assassinations.

Also in 2010, Chicago-area storms blew out windows on three floors of the tallest U.S. building, the 110-story Willis Tower.

In 2011, a stubborn wildfire in Arizona near the New Mexico border consumed more than half a million acres of land despite efforts of 4,000 firefighters.

Also in 2011, Israel began a nationwide, weeklong drill simulating missile attacks from Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Gaza and a variety of evacuation plans.

A thought for the day: Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of cheerfulness, "the more it is spent, the more of it remains."

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