The almanac

By United Press International  |  July 9, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, July 9, the 191st day of 2012 with 175 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, in 1819; historian Samuel Eliot Morison in 1887; English romance novelist Barbara Cartland in 1901; actor/singer Ed Ames in 1927 (age 85); English artist David Hockney in 1937 (age 75); actors Brian Dennehy in 1938 (age 74) and Richard Roundtree in 1942 (age 70); writer Dean R. Koontz in 1945 (age 67); football star/actor O.J. Simpson in 1947 (age 65); Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 1950 (age 62); entertainer John Tesh in 1952 (age 60); actors Chris Cooper in 1951 (age 61); Tom Hanks in 1956 (age 56), Kelly McGillis in 1957 (age 55), Jimmy Smits in 1955 (age 57) and Fred Savage in 1976 (age 36); and rock musicians Courtney Love in 1964 (age 48) Jack White in 1975 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1850, U.S. President Zachary Taylor died suddenly of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.

In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing African-Americans full citizenship and all people in the United States due process under the law.

In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis tournament was contested at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.

In 1893, Chicago surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.

In 1943, U.S., Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.

In 1947, Florence Blanchard, a nurse, was appointed lieutenant colonel in the Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent U.S. military rank.

In 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock 'n' roll era.

In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if U.S. forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.

In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 jetliner crashed in Kenner, La., shortly after takeoff from New Orleans, killing 154 people.

In 1992, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton picked U.S. Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., as his running mate.

In 2002 sports, the Major League All-Star baseball game ended in an 11-inning, 7-7 tie when Commissioner Bud Selig halted proceedings saying the teams had run out of pitchers.

In 2003, the director of South Korea's intelligence service said North Korea carried out some 70 high-explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons development.

In 2004, a report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence accused the CIA and other intelligence agencies of producing false and misleading pre-war information about Iraq's weapons program.

Also, in 2004, the International Court of Justice told Israel to tear down or re-route the 400-mile barrier being built on the Palestinian territory border to thwart attacks.

In 2006, a Sibir Airlines Airbus from Moscow taking children to a vacation area in Siberia crashed, killing more than 100 people, including many of the young travelers.

Also in 2006, Shiite gunmen on a rampage in a predominantly Sunni district of Baghdad killed at least 40 people, including unarmed women and children.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush defied a congressional subpoena, citing executive privilege, ordering him to turn over documents relating to the firing of nine U.S. prosecutors in 2006.

In 2008, the Iranian military reportedly test-fired nine missiles, including one that Tehran claimed can reach Israel. One report said a picture of the initial firing appeared to be doctored. The United States and Israel condemned the tests.

Also in 2008, the U.S. Senate passed the reauthorization of the federal government's wiretapping laws. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act set the parameters for investigators when wiretapping phones and reading e-mail of suspected foreign terrorists but trims provisions immunizing telecommunication companies.

In 2010, a massive suicide bombing attack claimed more than 100 lives at a Pakistan market and injured a reported 120 others. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Ghalanai assault reportedly aimed at a tribal-government meeting.

Also in 2010, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution condemning North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean naval vessel. North Korea repeatedly denied involvement in the attack that claimed 46 lives.

In 2011, former U.S. first lady Betty Ford, wife of President Gerald Ford and founder of a top-drawer rehab facility for chemical dependency patients, who died at 93, was eulogized as a trailblazer who inspired generations of women to face the realities of illness and addiction.

Also in 2011, after more than half a century of struggle and violence that claimed an estimated 2 million lives, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan and became Africa's 54th nation.

A thought for the day: David McCord said, "Life is the garment we continually alter but which never seems to fit."

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