The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Saturday, Feb. 16, the 47th day of 2013 with 318 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 French mathematician Pierre Bouguer in 1698; historian Henry Brooks Adams in 1838; orchestra leader Wayne King ("The Waltz King") and actor Chester Morris, both in 1901; ventriloquist Edgar Bergen in 1903; actor Hugh Beaumont in 1909; singer Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters in 1918; actor Vera-Ellen in 1921; U.S. Rep. Sonny Bono, R-Calif. (also part of the comedy/song team Sonny and Cher) in 1935; North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 1941; writer Richard Ford in 1944 (age 69); actors William Katt in 1951 (age 62) and Margaux Hemingway (granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway) in 1954; actor/director LeVar Burton in 1957 (age 56), actor and rapper Ice-T, born Tracy Marrow, in 1958 (age 55); and tennis star John McEnroe in 1959 (age 54).


On this date in history:

In 1923, archaeologists opened the treasure-laden tomb of Tutankhamen, "King Tut," in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

In 1933, a patent for the synthetic fiber nylon was awarded to the DuPont Co.

In 1959, Fidel Castro was sworn in as Cuba's leader and set up a Communist regime.

In 1986, Mario Soares was elected Portugal's first civilian head of state in 60 years.

In 1990, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan provided videotaped testimony for the Iran-Contra trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter.

In 1992, the chief of the Iranian-financed Hezbollah and two family members were killed in a bombing raid by Israel in an apparent retaliation for attacks against its soldiers.

In 1999, Germany announced that $1.7 billion would be set aside to compensate victims of the Holocaust.

Also in 1999, Northern Ireland's legislature approved the structure for a new executive government in the strife-torn province -- a major step toward implementing the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

In 2003, a massive storm hit the Northeastern United States resulting in record snowfall in several locations, including Boston, which caught 27.5 inches.


In 2004, a draft survey indicated U.S. children accused more than 4,000 Roman Catholic priests of sexual abuse from 1950-2002.

In 2005, the National Hockey League canceled its entire season after a five-month lockout.

Also in 2005, a survey said China had become the world's biggest consumer of agricultural and industrial goods, except for oil, in which the United States still had the lead.

In 2006, former Haitian President Rene Preval was declared winner of the Feb. 7 presidential election in Haiti.

In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush flew to Benin on the first stop of a five-nation trip to some of the poorest countries in Africa. Bush highlighted his record of fighting the AIDS pandemic.

In 2009, Japan reported its domestic product fell at a 12.7 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2008, plunging the country into what experts say was its worst financial crisis since World War II.

In 2010, Pakistani and U.S. forces reported they had arrested Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top Taliban military commander, in Karachi, Pakistan.

In 2011, Borders, the 40-year-old retail book superstore chain that began as a used book shop in Ann Arbor, Mich., and rapidly expanded in the 1990s with 650 locations and 19,500 employees, filed for bankruptcy.


Also in 2011, Mexican researchers predicted the violence-plagued border city of Juarez would be home to an estimated 8,500 orphans by the end of the year.

In 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama's approval rating climbed to 50 percent for the first time in eight months, a CNN poll indicated.

Also in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a North Carolina county that was forced to stop opening public meetings with Christian prayers. The justices were told such a practice makes non-Christians feel like second-class citizens.

A thought for the day: it was Steve Wozniak who said, "Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

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