The almanac

By United Press International
Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Today is Monday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2013 with 344 to follow.

This is observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include soldier and Vermont folk hero Ethan Allen in 1738; explorer and historian John Fremont in 1813; Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in 1824; firearms designer John Browning in 1855; Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, in 1884; French fashion designer Christian Dior and German high-wire walker Karl Wallenda, both in1905; actors Telly Savalas and Paul Scofield, both in 1922; British comedian Benny Hill in 1924; famed disc jockey Robert "Wolfman Jack" Smith in 1938; golfer Jack Nicklaus in 1940 (age 73); opera star Placido Domingo and folk musician Richie Havens, both in 1941 (age 72); singers Mac Davis (age 71) and Edwin Starr, both in 1942 and Billy Ocean in 1950 (age 63); actors Jill Eikenberry in 1947 (age 66), Robby Benson and Geena Davis, both in 1956 (age 57); U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in 1950 (age 63); U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in 1951 (age 62); Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1953 (age 60); basketball Hall of Fame member Hakeem Olajuwon in 1963 (age 50); and singer Emma "Baby Spice" Burton in 1976 (age 37).


On this date in history:

In 1793, French King Louis XVI was executed in Paris.

In 1861, Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate, 12 days before Mississippi seceded from the Union. He later became president of the Confederate States of America.

In 1924, Vladimir Lenin, architect of the Bolshevik Revolution and the first leader of the Soviet Union, died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 54.

In 1954, the world's first atomic-powered submarine, the Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Conn.

In 1976, the supersonic Concorde airplane was put into service by Britain and France.

In 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters.

In 1991, Iraq announced that it would use hostages as human shields against allied warplanes.

In 1997, the full U.S. House of Representatives voted 395-28 to reprimand Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., for violating House rules and misleading congressional investigators looking into his possible misuse of tax-exempt donations for political purposes.

In 1998, allegations of U.S. President Bill Clinton's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public.


Also in 1998, Pope John Paul II arrived in Havana for his first visit to Cuba.

In 2000, a military junta seized power in Ecuador. The next day, following expressions of international concern, junta leaders turned the government over to the country's vice president.

In 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau said Hispanics had moved past African-Americans as the largest minority group in the United States.

In 2004, a U.S. scientist who had toured North Korea nuclear facilities told the U.S. Congress there was evidence they could produce enriched plutonium.

In 2005, Iraq officials said $300 million was taken from Baghdad's central bank and flown to Lebanon. Its whereabouts was unknown.

In 2007, Afghanistan's Kabul government was reported planning war against its illegal opium trade with an attack on 55,000 acres of ripening poppies in a leading drug-producing province.

In 2008, 20 miners were killed in an explosion at a coal mine in China's northern Shanxi Province.

In 2009, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who lost a tough fight against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, won near unanimous Senate confirmation as secretary of state.


In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a far-reaching and controversial 5-4 decision, ruled that the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations and unions for political campaigns.

In 2011, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., said to be the main target in a lethal assault at a Tucson political meeting in which six people died, left a hospital for additional treatment in Houston almost two weeks after she was shot in the head.

In 2012, signaling what observers believe to be a new political era in Egypt, Islamist parties won 47 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Latest Headlines