The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2013 with 340 to follow.

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 Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle, a founder of modern chemistry, in 1627; Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1759; soap maker and philanthropist William Colgate in 1783; novelists W. Somerset Maugham in 1874 and Virginia Woolf in 1882; hall of fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell in 1918; news commentator Edwin Newman in 1919; football Hall of Fame member Lou Groza in 1924; former Philippine President Corazon Aquino in 1933; singers Etta James in 1938 (age 75) and Alicia Keys in 1981 (age 32); football Hall of Fame member Carl Eller in 1942 (age 71); track star Steve Prefontaine in 1951; and actors Dean Jones in 1931 (age 82); Leigh Taylor-Young in 1945 (age 68) and Dinah Manoff in 1958 (age 55).

On this date in history:

In 1533, Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn, his second wife.

In 1554, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was established.

In 1858, Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March" was played at the marriage of Friedrich of Prussia and England's Princess Victoria, the daughter of Queen Victoria. It became a standard theme for weddings.

In 1890, Nellie Bly, a young New York reporter, completed a trip around the world in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.

In 1915, transcontinental phone service was inaugurated in a hookup between New York and San Francisco.

In 1919, the League of Nations was founded. It lasted until 1946 when it was replaced by the United Nations.

In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France.

In 1947, gangster Al "Scarface" Capone died at age 48 after suffering from syphilis.

In 1959, the first scheduled transcontinental flight took place, a non-stop American Airlines flight from California to New York.

In 1961, newly inaugurated U.S. President John Kennedy had the first televised presidential news conference.

In 1971, Idi Amin became president of Uganda through a coup.

Also in 1971, Charles Manson and three women were found guilty of killing actor Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles.

In 1981, 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days returned to the United States.

In 1984, Apple's Macintosh computer went on sale. Price tag: $2,495.

In 1990, a Colombian jetliner with little fuel left crashed in Long Island, N.Y., after missing its first approach to Kennedy Airport. Seventy-three people died.

In 1991, a huge Persian Gulf oil slick began to form as Iraqi forces sabotaged Kuwaiti oil terminals.

In 1993, a man with a rifle opened fire near the main CIA gate in Langley, Va., killing two agency employees and wounding three others.

Also in 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton put his wife, Hillary Clinton, in charge of a healthcare task force with a mandate to produce a plan for universal coverage in 100 days.

In 2004, Opportunity, the second of two NASA robot explorers, landed on Mars, joining its twin to explore the planet.

In 2006, the militant Islamic group Hamas, calling for destruction of Israel, scored a stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary election.

In 2007, a car and two motorcycles rigged with explosives exploded in three Baghdad sites, killing at least 32 people and injuring at least 80 others.

In 2008, China's Ministry of Railway said 18 railroad workers were killed and nine injured by a high-speed train that barreled into their work site in Anqiu.

In 2009, voters in Bolivia approved a new constitution expanding the rights of the indigenous people, who made up about 55 percent of the Bolivian population.

In 2010, the man known as "Chemical Ali" -- Ali Hassan al-Majid, cousin and aide to Saddam Hussein -- was executed in Iraq for his role in a poison-gas attack in which 5,000 Kurds were killed.

Also in 2010, car bombs tore through security barricades of three Baghdad hotels and an apartment building in a coordinated attack that killed 36 people and wounded 71.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, announced plans to reduce the federal deficit by $400 billion over 10 years. The plan includes budget cuts and domestic spending freezes.

In 2012, Amnesty International denounced Brazilian authorities for what they said was forcibly evicting an estimated 6,000 people from a slum area 50 miles from Sao Paulo.

Also in 2012, as many as 73 people died after taking suspected tainted heart medicine in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore with 500 others sickened. Officials closed the pharmaceutical factory believed to have manufactured the medicine.

A thought for the day: Eric Hoffer wrote, "The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything."

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