The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2013 with 338 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 composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1756; author Lewis Carroll ("Alice's Adventures in Wonderland") in 1832; labor organizer Samuel Gompers in 1850; composer Jerome Kern in 1885; U.S. Navy Adm. Hyman Rickover, "father of the nuclear Navy," in 1900; Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 1901; U.S. newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, Jr. in 1908; musicians Elmore James and Skitch Henderson, both in 1918; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan and Rock and Roll Hall of fame member Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, both in 1944 (age 69); Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts in 1955 (age 58); news commentator Keith Olbermann and former NFL player and television commentator Cris Collinsworth, both in 1959 (age 54); actors Donna Reed in 1921, Troy Donahue in 1936, James Cromwell in 1940 (age 73), Mimi Rogers in 1956 (age 57), Bridget Fonda in 1964 (age 49) and Alan Cumming in 1965 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1606, the surviving conspirators in the "Gunpowder Treason" plot to blow up the English Parliament and the king of England on Nov. 5, 1605, were convicted. They were executed four days later.

In 1785, the first public university in the United States was founded as the University of Georgia.

In 1880, Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.

In 1888, The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington.

In 1910, Thomas Crapper, often described as the prime developer of the flush toilet mechanism as it is known today, died in England.

In 1926, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird launched a revolution in communication and entertainment with the first public demonstration of a true television system in London.

In 1967, U.S. astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in a fire aboard the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a launch simulation at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

In 1973, the United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.


In 1984, Singer Michael Jackson suffered a burn on his scalp during the filming of a soft-drink commercial.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility in the Iran arms scandal.

In 1991, U.S. planes bombed pipelines to Kuwaiti oil fields to cut off the flow of oil into the Persian Gulf.

In 1996, France conducted an open-air nuclear test in the South Pacific.

In 1998, in his State of the Union address, U.S. President Bill Clinton hailed the fact that the federal government would have a balanced budget in 1999 -- the first in 30 years.

In 2004, Jack Paar, who brought sophisticated humor to late-night TV as the host of "The Tonight Show," died following a long illness. He was 85.

In 2005, at least 13 Iraqis were killed and 15 wounded as violence swept Iraq days before national elections.

Also in 2005, U.N. officials in Sudan said about 100 people were killed or injured in the bombing by Sudanese government planes of a north Darfur village.

In 2009, the U.S. Defense Department said Afghanistan militants had directed 3,276 roadside bombs at Western troops in 2008. The bombings claimed 161 lives.


In 2010, during his State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama vowed to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forbids homosexuals from serving openly in the military services and outlined plans to seek a three-year spending freeze on many discretionary government programs.

In 2011, an unyielding nor'easter left U.S. East Coast cities crippled, airports and schools closed, travelers stranded, up to 2 feet of snow and 1.5 million customers without power. It was the sixth major U.S. storm in six weeks.

Also in 2011, U.S. Homeland Security announced it was replacing the nationwide color-coded, terror-alert scale with a new system that will focus on specific terror threats to potential targets.

In 2012, Obama administration officials revealed plans to sell rights to 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for oil exploration to expand domestic energy supplies.

A thought for the day: Rabindranath Tagore wrote that, "Trees are the Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."

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