The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2013 with 319 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei in 1564; inventor Cyrus McCormick in 1809; jeweler Charles Tiffany in 1812; feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony in 1820; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elihu Root in 1845; British philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead in 1861; Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton in 1874; songwriter Harold Arlen in 1905; actors John Barrymore in 1882, Cesar Romero in 1907, Harvey Korman in 1927 and Claire Bloom in 1931 (age 82); astronaut Roger Chaffee, killed in a fire on the ground during a 1967 Apollo I test, born in 1935; football Hall of Fame member John Hadl in 1940 (age 73); actor Marisa Berenson in 1947 (age 66); actor Jane Seymour and singer Melissa Manchester, both in 1951 (age 62); "Simpsons" cartoonist Matt Groening in 1954 (age 59); comedian Chris Farley in 1964; actor Renee O'Connor in 1971 (age 42); hockey player Jaromir Jagr in 1972 (age 41).


On this date in history:

In 1764, the city of St. Louis was founded along the Mississippi River.

In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 260 crewmen and leading to a U.S. declaration of war against Spain.

In 1933, U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt narrowly escaped assassination in Miami when several shots were fired at him, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.

In 1942, the British bastion of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese army.

In 1965, Canada adopted a new national flag featuring a maple leaf emblem.

In 1982, the oil-drilling rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in a storm off Newfoundland. All 84 people aboard were lost.

In 1990, Washington Mayor Marion Barry was indicted on eight counts of perjury and drug possession.

In 1991, 100 people were killed when a tractor-trailer hauling dynamite overturned and exploded in Thailand.

In 1997, Tara Lipinski, 14, defeated defending women's champion Michelle Kwan to become the youngest U.S. figure skating champion.

In 2002, discovery of a human skull in a wooded area near a crematory in Georgia led investigators to remains of more than 300 bodies that were to have been cremated but instead were stacked in sheds and in the woods.


In 2003, millions of people demonstrated against war in cities around the world, including New York, San Francisco, London, Paris and Berlin.

In 2005, a U.S. appeals court in Washington ruled that journalists have no First Amendment privilege to protect confidential sources.

In 2008, Steve Fossett, the 63-year-old millionaire commodities trader turned record-breaking aviator, was declared legally dead, five months after he vanished while flying in Nevada.

In 2009, Venezuelan voters abolished presidential term limits, which had restricted a president to two six-year terms. The new constitutional provision permitted Hugo Chavez to seek re-election in 2012, which he won.

In 2010, two trains collided head-on in snowy weather during rush hour near Brussels, killing at least 18 people and injuring 55 others.

In 2011, pro-reform protests broke out in Iran where demonstrators faced stiff resistance from security forces in reported sporadic violence. The Iranian news agency said lawmakers were calling for trial and execution for two protest leaders. Meanwhile, anti-government clashes grew hotter in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Algeria.

Also in 2011, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 74, was ordered to stand trial on charges of having sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of power.


In 2012, fire broke out in an overcrowded Honduras prison killing a reported 359 inmates and a visiting wife, one of the worst prison fire death tolls in history. One of the convicts was suspected of starting the fast-moving conflagration by setting his mattress on fire.

A thought for the day: Warren Miller said, "Don't take life seriously because you can't come out of it alive."

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