The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, Sept. 30, the 274th day of 2012 with 92 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. in 1861; German physicist Hans Geiger, co-inventor of the Geiger counter, in 1882; film director Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet on the Western Front") in 1895; singer Kenny Baker in 1912; drummer Buddy Rich in 1917; novelist Truman Capote in 1924; baseball Hall of Fame member Robin Roberts in 1926; actors Deborah Kerr in 1921 and Angie Dickinson in 1931 (age 81); Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel in 1928 (age 84); singers Johnny Mathis in 1935 (age 77), Frankie Lymon in 1942 and Marilyn McCoo in 1943 (age 69); actors Len Cariou in 1939 (age 73) and Victoria Tennant in 1950 (age 62); rock singer Marc Bolan in 1947; actors Jack Wild in 1952, Fran Drescher in 1957 (age 55), Eric Stoltz and Crystal Bernard, both in 1961 (age 51) and Jenna Elfman in 1971 (age 41), and tennis star Martina Hingis in 1980 (age 32).


On this date in history:

In 1452, the first section of the Guttenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type, was published in Germany.

In 1630, John Billington, one of the first pilgrims to land in America, was hanged for murder -- the first European criminal executed in the American colonies.

In 1791, Mozart's "The Magic Flute" was performed for first time.

In 1846, a dentist in Charleston, Mass., extracted a tooth with the aid of an anesthetic -- ether. It was the first time an anesthetic had been used.

In 1927, Babe Ruth set a major league baseball record with his 60th home run of the season. The mark would stand for 34 years.

In 1938, Germany, France, Britain and Italy met in Munich, Germany, for a conference after which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain predicted "peace for our time." World War II began less than one year later.

In 1946, the verdicts were handed down in the Nuremberg war crimes trial. Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death by hanging.

In 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, was commissioned by the U.S. Navy.


In 1955, movie idol James Dean died in a car crash at age 24.

In 1962, James H. Meredith, an African-American, was escorted onto the University of Mississippi campus by U.S. marshals, setting off a riot in which two men died before violence was quelled by more than 3,000 soldiers. Meredith enrolled the next day.

In 1991, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup.

In 1992, the United States returned most of the Subic Bay Naval Base to the Philippine government after more than a century of use.

Also in 1999, Russia sent troops into the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

In 2003, three people working at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, including a Muslim chaplain, were arrested on espionage charges.

In 2004, more than 40 people were killed, including about 35 children, when three bombs exploded in Iraq as U.S. soldiers were handing out candy.

Also in 2004, Merck and Co. announced a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of the arthritis and pain medication drug Vioxx. Clinical trials showed an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.

In 2005, amid joy, sadness and speculation about the future, thousands of New Orleans residents returned home to a hobbled city, one month after Hurricane Katrina dealt them a devastating blow.


In 2006, Congress ordered construction of a 700-mile, $1.2 billion fence along the U.S.-Mexican border in a move to control immigration. Mexico said the barrier would hurt relations between the two countries.

In 2008, a crowd of about 25,000 worshippers making its way through a narrow passage to a Hindu temple in India for a religious festival broke into a stampede when a wall collapsed. Police put the death toll at 224 with more than 100 injured.

Also in 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush signed legislation providing about $630 billion to keep the government operating. It included $25 billion in loan guarantees to help U.S. auto makers develop more fuel-efficient vehicles.

In 2009, back-to-back earthquakes and mudslides hit Sumatra in Indonesia, leaving an official death toll of close to 1,200 and smashing thousands of homes.

In 2010, U.S. stocks reported their best September since 1939. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 10,788.05, a gain of 7.7 percent for the month.

Also in 2010, a meeting between Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa and striking police turned violent with five people killed, hundreds hurt and the president held captive for more than 10 hours.


In 2011, a missile from an American drone aircraft strike over Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic cleric linked to several high-profile terrorist incidents in the United States and subject of a 2-year manhunt.

Also in 2011, September came to a close with yet another sharp drop in the U.S. stock market, one that helped produce the worst quarter since 2009. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 12.1 percent since the end of June with Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor 500 following suit.

A thought for the day: Spanish nun, mystic and reformer St. Teresa said, "Whenever conscience commands anything, there is only one thing to fear, and that is fear."

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