The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 20, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Sept. 20th, the 264th day of 2012 with 102 to follow.

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 Italian pacifist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ernesto Teodoro Moneta in 1833; novelist Upton Sinclair in 1878; Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny, who pioneered the care of polio victims, in 1880; musician Jelly Roll Morton in 1885, basketball Hall of Fame Coach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach and actor Fernando Rey, both in 1917; fashion designer James Galanos in 1924 (age 88), actors Anne Meara in 1929 (age 83) and Sophia Loren in 1934 (age 78); writer George R.R. Martin in 1948 (age 64); hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur in 1951 (age 61); actors Gary Cole in 1956 (age 56) and Kristen Johnston in 1967 (age 45); and musicians Gunnar and Matthew Nelson in 1967 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan began a voyage to find a western passage to the East Indies.

In 1873, financial chaos forced the New York Stock Exchange to close. It remained closed for 10 days.

In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival opened on the French Riviera. An earlier attempt to begin the international movie showcase in 1939 was halted by the outbreak of World War II.

In 1966, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the Cunard liner bearing her name, often shortened to QE-2, which eventually became the only ocean liner on the once thriving trans-Atlantic route.

In 1973, Billy Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match.

In 1984, Muslim militants bombed the U.S. Embassy annex in Lebanon, killing 23 people, including two Americans. It was the third terrorist attack on U.S. installations in Beirut in 17 months.

In 1991, the Cambodian government and three rebel factions agreed on a form of future U.N.-supervised elections.

In 2000, the 6-year Whitewater investigation of U.S. President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton ended without any indictments being issued. Independent Counsel Robert Ray said there was insufficient evidence to establish criminal wrongdoing.

In 2001, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was named to lead the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In 2002, Israeli forces demolished all but one building of the office compound of Palestinian chief Yasser Arafat after a suicide bomber killed seven people on a Tel Aviv bus.

In 2004, CBS News said it regretted broadcasting a controversial report about U.S. President George W. Bush's military service duty, saying its source misled the network.

In 2005, the Bush administration's disapproval rating reached a reported all-time high of 58 percent in a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll.

In 2006, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush "the devil" in a U.N. speech and accused the United States of trying to dominate the world.

Also in 2006, a poll indicated that U.S. voters had an "overwhelmingly negative" opinion of the Republican-led U.S. Congress.

In 2007, Norman Hsu, a major Democratic fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, was charged with defrauding investors of $60 million. Clinton said funds donated on her behalf would be returned.

In 2008, the White House formally announced a vast bailout plan for U.S. financial institutions including full authority for the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in so-called toxic mortgage-related assets to restore confidence among investors and banks reluctant to make loans.

Also in 2008, more than 50 people were killed and hundreds injured when a truck bomb exploded outside the popular Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan.

In 2009, with no timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, officials said the United States was in the midst of a massive buildup of CIA and other intelligence resources in that country similar to operations in Iraq and Vietnam.

In 2010, the U.S. recession, called the longest since World War II, beginning in December 2007, ended in June 2009, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced in a committee report. However, despite signs of economic recovery, unemployment remained high.

In 2011, the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on openly gay U.S. service members was officially repealed at one minute past midnight, ending a policy under which about 14,000 men and women were discharged. The controversial 1993 law had allowed gays to serve only so long as they kept their sexual orientation private.

Also in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama told a U.N. meeting the United States will support the people of Libya in building a new government.

And, former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in a suicide bomb attack at his Kabul home.

A thought for the day: American preacher, physician and suffragist Anna Howard Shaw said, "It is better to be true to what you believe, though that be wrong, than to be false to what you believe, even if that belief is correct."

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