The almanac

By United Press International  |  Sept. 22, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Sept. 22, the 266th day of 2012 with 100 to follow.

This is the first day of autumn.

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 English statesman and wit Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, in 1694; English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday in 1791; Austrian filmmaker Erich von Stroheim in 1885; humorist Frank Sullivan in 1892; actor Paul Muni in 1895; producer/actor John Houseman in 1902; actor Allan "Rocky" Lane, B-movie cowboy star of the 1940s and later the TV voice of Mr. Ed, in 1909; baseball Hall of Fame members Bob Lemon in 1920 and Tommy Lasorda in 1927 (age 85); actor Eugene Roche in 1928; basketball Hall of fame member Lute Olson in 1934 (age 78); NBA Commissioner David Stern in 1942 (age 70); singers Toni Basil in 1943 (age 68), Debby Boone in 1956 (age 56), Nick Cave in 1957 (age 55) and Joan Jett in 1958 (age 54); tenor Andrea Bocelli and television commentator Neil Cavuto, also in 1958 (age 54); and actors Paul Le Mat in 1945 (age 66); Scott Baio in 1960 (age 42) and Catherine Oxenberg in 1961 (age 51), Bonnie Hunt in 1961 (age 51) and Tom Felton in 1987 (age 25).

On this date in history:

In 1776, the British hanged American Revolutionary War hero and patriot Nathan Hale. His famous last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

In 1888, National Geographic began publishing.

In 1927, Jack Dempsey muffed a chance to regain the heavyweight championship when he knocked down Gene Tunney but failed to go to a neutral corner promptly, thereby delaying the referee's count and giving the champ time to get up.

In 1949, the U.S. nuclear monopoly ended as the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb.

In 1975, self-proclaimed revolutionary Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill U.S. President Gerald Ford as he walked from a San Francisco hotel. A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd.

In 1980, long-standing border disputes and political turmoil in Iran prompted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to launch an invasion of Iran's oil-producing province of Khuzestan, touching off an 8-year war.

In 1985, more than 50 rock and country stars, headed by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, staged the 14-hour Farm Aid concert for 78,000 rain-soaked spectators in Champaign, Ill., raising $10 million for debt-ridden U.S. farmers.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo slashed through Charleston and coastal South Carolina with 135-mph winds, claiming at least 28 lives.

Also in 1989, Irving Berlin, whose long list of enduring songs include "God Bless America" and "White Christmas," died in his sleep at his home in New York City at the age of 101.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton unveiled his healthcare reform package in a speech before a joint session of Congress.

In 1999, the U.S. Justice Department sued five major U.S. tobacco companies and two defunct lobbying groups, charging they colluded to defraud the public about the addictive nature of tobacco products.

In 2003, a bomb exploded outside the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing the bomber and a guard and wounding 19. Three days later, the United Nations said it was withdrawing more staff members from Iraq.

In 2005, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to recommend the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late William Rehnquist.

In 2007, Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru, returned home from his Chilean exile to face charges of corruption and human rights abuse.

In 2008, officials at China's health ministry said nearly 53,000 children, most of them younger than 2 years old, had been sickened by milk powder tainted with an industrial chemical. At least four children died. Ten Asian and African nations, including Japan, banned Chinese dairy products for a time.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama was considered a "strong and decisive leader," 66 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll indicated.

In 2010, a Miami appeals court affirmed the adoption of two foster children by a gay couple, ruling Florida's ban on same-sex adoption was unconstitutional.

Also in 2010, heavy rains, flooding and landslides claimed at least 90 lives in northern India.

In 2011, a punishing sell-off on Wall Street went to a second day as investors rejected a U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus measure and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 240 points during the afternoon.

Also in 2011, Libyan rebels say they found a stockpile of chemical weapons in the southern desert after pushing Moammar Gadhafi loyalists from the area.

A thought for the day: U.S. author and writing teacher Brenda Ueland wrote, "... all children have creative power."

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