The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 20, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, June 20, the 172nd day of 2012 with 194 to follow.

This is the first day of summer.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include author-playwright Lillian Hellman in 1905; actor Errol Flynn in 1909; musician Chet Atkins and actor, World War II hero Audie Murphy, winner of the Medal of Honor, both in 1924; actors Martin Landau in 1928 (age 84), Olympia Dukakis and James Tolkan, both in 1931 (age 81), Danny Aiello in 1933 (age 79) and John Mahoney in 1940 (age 72); football Hall of Fame member Len Dawson in 1935 (age 77); songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in 1942 (age 70); singer Anne Murray in 1945 (age 67); TV handyman Bob Vila and concert pianist Andre Watts, both in 1946 (age 66); singer Lionel Richie in 1949 (age 63); Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 1950 (age 62); actors John Goodman in 1952 (age 60), Nicole Kidman in 1967 (age 45) and Michael Landon Jr. in 1964 (age 48).

On this date in history:

In 1214, the University of Oxford in England is chartered.

In 1893, a jury in Fall River, Mass., found Lizzy Borden not guilty in the ax murders of her father and stepmother.

In 1898, the U.S. Navy seized Guam, the largest of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, during the Spanish-American War. The people of Guam were granted U.S. citizenship in 1950.

In 1900, in response to widespread foreign encroachment upon China's national affairs, Chinese nationalists launched the so-called Boxer Rebellion in Beijing.

In 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to establish a hot line communications link between Washington and Moscow.

In 1967, the American Independent Party was formed to back George Wallace of Alabama for president.

In 1977, oil began to flow through the $7.7 billion, 789-mile Alaska pipeline.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush broke off U.S. diplomatic contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization after the PLO refused to act against a factional leader who plotted to attack Israel.

In 1991, the German Parliament voted to move its capital from Bonn to Berlin.

In 1994, O.J. Simpson pleaded "100 percent not guilty" to charges he killed his ex-wife and her friend.

In 1997, four major U.S. tobacco companies and several state attorneys general, after months of negotiations, agreed to a $368.5 billion settlement to recover the costs of smoking-related illnesses.

In 1999, NATO formally ended its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia as Serb forces completed their withdrawal from Kosovo.

In 2003, up to 200 illegal immigrants were feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia on its way to Italy.

In 2004, Pakistan and India reached agreement on banning nuclear testing.

In 2006, former White House official David Saravian was convicted on four counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice in dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush blocked legislation to permit expanded federal funding for stem cell studies. He vetoed a new proposal to lift restrictions on funding for the research.

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an updated wiretapping law that includes protection from civil suits for telecommunications companies.

In 2009, Iraqi insurgents, striking in a series of attacks as U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq as planned, set off a truck bomb near a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq, killing 82 people and injuring 250.

Also in 2009, authorities reported at least 19 protesters were killed as demonstrations continued in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential election.

In 2010, Juan Manuel Santos easily defeated former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus to become Colombia's president.

Also in 2010, two car bombs exploded minutes apart in a crowded section near government offices and a bank in Baghdad, killing 26 people.

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, which alleged sex discrimination against up to 1.5 million women.

Also in 2011, ousted Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife were sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison for corruption following a trial in Tunis.

A thought for the day: Plutarch said, "Character is simply habit long continued."

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