The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 2, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Sept. 2, the 246th day of 2012 with 120 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include poet Eugene Field in 1850; inventor Hiram Maxim, who invented the first portable automatic machine gun, in 1869; basketball Hall of Fame Coach Adolph Rupp in 1901; authors Cleveland Amory in 1917 and Allen Drury in 1918; dancer Marge Champion in 1919 (age 93); basketball Hall of Fame member John Thompson Jr. in 1941 (age 71); Christa McAuliffe, the school teacher who became an astronaut and died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff in 1986, and basketball Hall of Fame member Nate Archibald (age 64), both in 1948; football Hall of Fame member and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw in 1948 (age 64); actor Mark Harmon in 1951 (age 61); tennis Hall of Fame member Jimmy Connors in 1952 (age 60); football Hall of Fame member Eric Dickerson in 1960 (age 52); actors Keanu Reeves in 1964 (age 48) and Salma Hayek in 1966 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1666, the Great Fire of London began. It destroyed 13,000 houses in four days.

In 1935, a hurricane hit the Florida Keys, killing more than 350 people.

In 1945, Japan signed an unconditional surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending World War II.

In 1983, Moscow admitted to the Sept. 1 shooting down of a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747, killing the 269 people aboard, but said the jumbo jet intentionally intruded into Soviet air space.

In 1991, the European Community-approved plan to end the civil war in Yugoslavia was accepted by the Yugoslav federal presidency. But federal forces renewed their offensive against Croatia.

In 1992, more than 100 people were killed when earthquake-spawned tidal waves swept Pacific coast villages in Nicaragua.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 257.36 points for its largest one-day point gain, closing at 7,879.

In 1998, a Swissair jetliner en route from New York to Geneva, Switzerland, crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. All 229 people aboard were killed.

In 1999, the Clintons bought a house in the New York suburb of Chappaqua for $1.7 million, establishing residency for first lady Hillary Clinton, who was planning a run for the U.S. Senate.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush accepted the GOP nomination for re-election, promising to build a "safer world and a more hopeful America."

In 2005, the European Commission called for uniform rules for deporting illegal immigrants and refugees who are denied asylum in member countries.

In 2007, the death toll from flooding in Bihar, India, rose to 556.

Also in 2007, the Lebanese army defeated Palestinian Islamic militants at a refugee camp in northern Lebanon, climaxing a 3-month siege that killed more than 400 people.

In 2008, Thai leaders in Bangkok declared a state of emergency when government protests grew violent. For more than a week, thousands of protesters have clashed over efforts to force the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

In 2009, an estimated 60 people were killed and about that many were reported missing when an earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, rattled the heavily populated Indonesian island of Java.

In 2010, BP warned the U.S. Congress that it may be unable to pay compensation for its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill if barred from new offshore drilling permits.

In 2011, the U.S. unemployment rate for August remained unchanged at 9.1 percent. The White House said it expected the jobless level to stay about the same through 2012.

Also in 2011, the U.S. State Department warned American travelers that the security threat in Yemen was "extremely high" and urged those already there to leave.

A thought for the day: Logan Pearsall Smith said, "There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail."

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