The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, June 22, the 174th day of 2012 with 192 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 English adventure novelist H. Rider Haggard ("King Solomon's Mines," "She") in 1856; German novelist Erich Remarque ("All Quiet on the Western Front") in 1898; bank robber John Dillinger and baseball Hall of Fame member Carl Hubbell, both in 1903; movie director Billy Wilder and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, both in 1906; producer Mike Todd in 1907; fashion designer Bill Blass in 1922; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in 1933 (age 79); singer/actor Kris Kristofferson in 1936 (age 76); TV journalist Ed Bradley in 1941; news commentator Brit Hume in 1943 (age 69); writer Octavia Butler and basketball Hall of Fame member Pete Maravich, both in 1947; rock musician Todd Rundgren in 1948 (age 64); actors Meryl Streep and Lindsay Wagner, both in 1949 (age 63), Graham Greene in 1952 (age 60); Freddie Prinze in 1954 and Tracy Pollan in 1960 (age 52); pop singer Cyndi Lauper in 1953 (age 59); activist Erin Brockovich-Ellis in 1960 (age 52); basketball Hall of Fame member Clyde Drexler in 1962 (age 50); actor Amy Brenneman and writer Dan Brown ("The DaVinci Code") , both in 1964 (age 48); and television host Carson Daly in 1973 (age 39).


On this date in history:

In 1807, the U.S frigate Chesapeake was fired upon and boarded by the crew of the British battleship Leopold about 40 miles east of Chesapeake Bay.

In 1918, 53 circus performers and many circus animals were killed when an empty troop train rear-ended the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus train, which was stopped in Ivanhoe, Ind., to fix its brakes.

In 1937, Joe Louis knocked out Jim Braddock in the eighth round to become the world heavyweight boxing champion. He was the first African-American boxing champion since Jack Johnson lost his title in 1915.

In 1940, France fell to Germany in World War II.

In 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

In 1965 movie mogul David O. Selznick, producer of "Gone With The Wind," died at age 62.

In 1969, show business legend Judy Garland died of an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 47.

In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pledge to try to avoid nuclear war.

In 1977, John Mitchell became the first former U.S. attorney general to go to jail when he entered a federal prison to serve time for Watergate crimes.


In 1990, South African police tightened security around President Frederik Willem de Klerk and detained 11 right-wing activists after a published report detailed an alleged plot to assassinate de Klerk and black nationalist Nelson Mandela.

In 1991, the South African government, the Inkatha Freedom party and ANC met for the first time in Johannesburg to discuss a way to end factional violence.

In 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered to cede responsibility for security in some West Bank and Gaza Strip areas to the Palestinians.

In 2004, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's autobiography "My Life" was published to an awaiting audience so large the publisher ordered a second printing the next day.

In 2006, a New York Times report said the U.S. government had for years used a database of international financial transactions to trace money going to terrorists.

Also in 2006, flooding and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi claimed at least 195 lives with another 128 people missing.

In 2007, North Korea officials told the United States it was prepared to shut down its primary nuclear reactor after a problem over frozen funds was settled.


Also in 2007, at least 25 civilians were killed when NATO forces responded with an airstrike to an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate content and marketing of tobacco products for adults and outlawing ads in school and playground areas and the sale of flavored cigarettes designed for young people.

Also in 2009, an evening rush hour collision on Washington's Metrorail Red Line mass transit system in which a speeding train rear ended another that had stopped left nine people dead. Investigators blamed a long-standing computer problem.

In 2010, a federal judge in New Orleans blocked a ban on deep-water drilling the Obama administration ordered after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP, meanwhile, took a major hit in the U.S. stock market as shares dropped by week's end to a 14-year low.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced American troops would begin returning to the United States from Afghanistan in a month. Obama said the initial drawdown of 10,000 troops should be completed by the end of 2011 and another 33,000 the next summer.


Also in 2011, reputed former Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, indicted in 19 homicides, was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., ending a 16-year manhunt.

And, Maria Gomes Valentim, a Brazilian woman named a month ago as the world's oldest person, died in a hospital at the age of 114.

A thought for the day: George Jean Nathan wrote, "It may be said that artist and censor differ in this wise: that the first is a decent mind in an indecent body and that the second is an indecent mind in a decent body."

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