The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Thursday, June 28, the 180th day of 2012 with 186 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 King Henry VIII in 1491; Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens in 1577; English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, in 1703; French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1712; French physician Paul Broca in 1824; Italian author Luigi Pirandello in 1867; composer Richard Rodgers in 1902; British spy novelist Eric Ambler in 1909; filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks in 1926 (age 86); actor Pat Morita in 1932; Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 1938 (age 74); comedian Gilda Radner in 1946; actors Kathy Bates in 1948 (age 64) and Alice Krige in 1954 (age 58); football Hall of Fame member John Elway in 1960 (age 52); actors John Cusack and Mary Stuart Masterson, both in 1966 (age 46) and Felicia Day in 1979 (age 33); and actor/singer Danielle Brisebois in 1969 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1778, the Continental Army under command of Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Monmouth, N.J.

In 1838, Victoria was crowned queen of England. She would rule for 63 years, 7 months.

In 1914, Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, an act credited with igniting World War I.

In 1919, World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1969, the clientele of a New York City gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, rioted after the club was raided by police. The event is considered the start of the gay liberation movement.

In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the use of public funds for parochial schools was unconstitutional.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that no more draftees would be sent to Vietnam unless they volunteered for service in the Asian nation.

In 1984, Israel and Syria exchanged prisoners for the first time in 10 years; 291 Syrian soldiers were traded for three Israelis.

In 1991, the Yugoslav army was deployed to Slovenia to take control of airports and border posts and to prevent the republic's declared independence.


In 1997, Mike Tyson bit the ears of heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, tearing off a piece of one ear, during a title fight in Las Vegas.

In 2000, Elian Gonzalez and his father returned to Cuba, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the Cuban refugee's Miami relatives who sought to keep the boy in the United States.

Also in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America had a constitutional right to exclude gay members.

In 2003, people eager to block telemarketing calls overwhelmed a government Web site that began accepting phone numbers at the national do-not-call registry. The Federal Trade Commission said 735,000 numbers were registered the first day.

In 2004, the U.S.-led coalition formally transferred political power in Iraq to an interim government that would run the country until elections were held.

In 2005, at least 30 people were killed in torrential rains that pounded El Salvador causing flooding and damage to homes.

In 2008, the Presbyterian Church voted to amend its constitution to allow openly gay and lesbian clergy.

In 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, rousted out of bed in the middle of the night by soldiers, was forced from office and into exile in Costa Rica in the culmination of a bitter power struggle over proposed constitutional changes, including an extension of term limits.


In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled that state and municipal laws banning handguns for self-protection in the home are unconstitutional. The court said that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom.

Also in 2010, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who served longer in Congress than anyone in American history, died in a Virginia hospital at age 92. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1952, Byrd moved on to the Senate in 1959 where he became one of Congress' most powerful members over the next 51 years, a span that included 13 presidencies.

In 2011, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Also in 2011, Syrian soldiers were ordered to shoot unarmed civilians during anti-government demonstrations, a military defector alleged, adding that neither he nor his colleagues ever saw protesters with weapons.

A thought for the day: Bertolt Brecht wrote, "What is robbing a bank compared to founding one?"

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