The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 17, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Sept. 17, the 261st day of 2012 with 105 to follow.

This is the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include second Chief Justice of the United States, John Rutledge, who signed both the Declaration of Independce and U.S. Constitution, in 1739; Norwegian historian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Christian Lous Lange in 1869; radio news commentator Gabriel Heatter in 1890; former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1907; country music pioneer Hank Williams Sr. in 1923; football Hall of Fame member George Blanda in 1927; race car driver Stirling Moss in 1929 (age 83); actors Roddy McDowall in 1928, David Huddleston in 1930 (age 82); Anne Bancroft in 1931 and Dorothy Loudon in 1933; tennis Hall of Fame member Maureen Connolly in 1934; author Ken Kesey in 1935; baseball Hall of Fame member Orlando Cepeda in 1937 (age 75); former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter in 1939 (age 73); basketball Hall of Fame member Phil Jackson in 1945 (age 67); cartoonist Jeff MacNelly in 1947; actor John Ritter in 1948; spooky movie hostess Elvira, whose real name is Cassandra Peterson, in 1951 (age 61); actor/comedian Rita Rudner in 1953 (age 59); rock and roll Hall of Fame member Richie Ramone in 1957 (age 55).

On this date in history:

In 1787, the U.S. Constitution, completed in Philadelphia, was signed by a majority of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. George McClellan attacked Confederate troops led by Gen. Robert E. Lee near Antietam Creek in Maryland. McClellan blocked Lee's advance on Washington but fell short of victory.

In 1939, Soviet troops invaded Poland, 16 days after Nazi Germany moved into the same country.

In 1976, NASA unveiled its first space shuttle, the Enterprise, an airplane-like spacecraft costing almost $10 billion that took nearly a decade to develop.

In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords, laying the groundwork for a permanent peace agreement between Egypt and Israel after three decades of hostilities.

In 1983, Vanessa Williams of New York became the first African-American to be named Miss America. She resigned 11 months later after nude photos were published but regained stardom as a singer and actress.

In 1991, North Korea, South Korea, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were admitted to the United Nations.

In 1993, Cambodia's two leading political parties agreed that Prince Norodom Sihanouk would lead the nation. Sihanouk was installed as king a week later.

In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush said Osama bin Laden, the suspected ringleader in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was "wanted dead or alive" as Bush continued efforts to line up international support for his proposed "war on terror."

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush asked Congress for authority to use force against Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said several nations had pledged military support for offensive action against Iraq.

In 2004, the death toll from Hurricane Ivan was put at 38 in the United States and 75 in at the Caribbean.

In 2005, a car bomb in Baghdad killed at least 30 people. In another part of town, the bodies of nine men, who had been tortured and killed, were found.

In 2008, a car bomb and a rocket hit the U.S. Embassy in Yemen as staff members reported to work, killing 16 people.

Also in 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an energy legislative package that would allow drilling for oil within 50 miles of American coasts.

And, the 2008 Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities came to a close in Beijing after about 4,000 competitors vied in 20 sports. Top individual performer was Australian swimmer Matt Cowdrey, an arm amputee from birth who captured five gold and three silver medals.

In 2009, the Obama administration announced it was canceling plans for a ground-based antiballistic missile shield system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Instead, the White House said, a shorter-range system would be considered for Europe.

Also in 2009, final unofficial results from Afghanistan's controversial presidential election indicated that incumbent Hamid Karzai got 54.6 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff.

In 2010, six suspects were arrested in what was described as a potential terror plot against Pope Benedict XVI during his London visit.

In 2011, the widespread U.S. outbreak of listeria food poisoning was traced to contaminated cantaloupes sold by a Colorado company that recalled millions of melons as the federal investigation continued. Officials said about two dozen people had died of listeriosis in 20 states.

Also in 2011, Egypt's temporary military government reinstated martial law after the recent attack on the Israeli Embassy.

A thought for the day: French aviator and writer Antoine Marie Roger de Saint-Exupery said, "Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction."

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