The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Thursday, June 21, the 173rd day of 2012 with 193 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 Cancer. They include cartoonist Al Hirschfeld in 1903; philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre in 1905; actors Jane Russell in 1921, Maureen Stapleton in 1925, Bernie Kopell in 1933 (age 79), Monte Markham in 1935 (age 77), Ron Ely in 1938 (age 74); and Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter, both in 1947 (age 65); singer O.C. Smith in 1932; actor/TV host Mariette Hartley in 1940 (age 72); comic actor Joe Flaherty in 1941 (age 71); rock musician Ray Davies in 1944 (age 68); Nobal Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi in 1947 (age 65); writer Ian McEwan in 1948 (age 64); rock musician Nils Lofgren in 1951 (age 61); actors Robert Pastorelli in 1954 and Juliette Lewis in 1973 (age 39); country singer Kathy Mattea in 1959 (age 53); sportscaster Kevin Harlan in 1960 (age 52); rock musician Brandon Flowers in 1981 (age 31); and Britain's Prince William in 1982 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1788, the U.S. Constitution became effective when a ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified it.

In 1945, Japanese defenders of Okinawa Island surrendered to U.S. troops.

In 1964, three civil rights workers disappeared on their way to investigate a church burning in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam Aug. 4.

In 1982, John Hinckley Jr. was found innocent by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shooting of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three other people.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes hit the eastern U.S. seaboard, killing 118 people over a seven-state area.

In 1985, international experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conclusively identified the bones of a 1979 drowning victim as the remains of Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele, ending a 40-year search for the "angel of death" of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Iran, killing as many as 50,000 people.

In 1997, Cambodia announced the capture of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.

In 1998, opposition leader Andres Pastrana Arango was elected president of Colombia by a narrow margin.


In 2000, NASA announced that its Mars Global Surveyor had spotted grooved surface features, suggesting a relatively recent water flow on the planet.

In 2003, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," fifth book in J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series about a young wizard, hit book stores and sold 5 million copies the first day.

In 2004, Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned as he faced possible impeachment charges in a scandal involving state contractors.

Also in 2004, guerrillas stormed three towns in the Russian republic of Ingushetta, killing 97 people.

In 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush's public approval rating hit a low, 26 percent, in a Newsweek poll, while Congress' rating was 25 percent. In the previous 35 years, only Richard Nixon had a lower Newsweek approval rating -- 23 percent in 1974.

Also in 2007, the U.S. Senate approved a bill requiring auto makers to raise fuel-economy averages to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.


In 2008, more than 1,000 people were reported killed when Typhoon Fengshen struck the Philippines. Of the victims, nearly 800 were reported to have died when the storm hit a ferry causing it to run aground off Sibuyan Island and capsize.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a law making it a crime to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

In 2011, a RusAir passenger plane flying from Moscow to Petrozavodsk in rain and fog crashed on a highway near the airport and broke apart in flames. Forty-four people died, eight survived.

Also in 2011, an outbreak of an undiagnosed disease killed at least 22 children in India's eastern Bihar state, health officials said.

A thought for the day: Confucius said, "The only people who cannot change are the most wise and the most stupid."

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