The almanac

United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2013 with 314 to follow.

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


Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include American Revolutionary War hero William Prescott in 1726; photographer Ansel Adams in 1902; Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin in 1904; actor Gale Gordon in 1906; TV emcee John Daly in 1914; fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt in 1924 (age 89); film director Robert Altman in 1925; author Richard Matheson in 1926 (age 87); former auto racing figures Bobby Unser in 1934 (age 79) and Roger Penske in 1937 (age 76); singers Nancy Wilson in 1937 (age 76) and Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1941 (age 72); actors Sidney Poitier in 1927 (age 86), Amanda Blake in 1929, Sandy Duncan in 1946 (age 67), Peter Strauss in 1947 (age 66) and Jennifer O'Neill in 1948 (age 65); hockey Hall of Fame member Phil Esposito in 1942 (age 71); socialite Ivana Trump in 1949 (age 64); heiress Patty Hearst Shaw in 1954 (age 59); comedian Joel Hodgson in 1960 (age 53); basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley in 1963 (age 50); actors French Stewart in 1964 (age 49) and Andrew Shue in 1967 (age 46); model Cindy Crawford in 1966 (age 47); musician Kurt Cobain in 1967; and singer Rihanna Fenty in 1988 (age 25).


On this date in history:

In 1809, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was no greater than that of any individual state of the Union.

In 1816, "The Barber of Seville" by Gioachino Rossini opened in Rome.

In 1848, Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" was published in London by a group called the Communist League.

In 1872, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York.

In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as Britain's foreign secretary to protest the "appeasement" policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany.

In 1962, U.S. astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He landed safely after three orbits in a Mercury spacecraft.

In 1991, U.S. troops penetrated Iraq, capturing as many as 500 Iraqi soldiers.

Also in 1991, the United States approved a $400 million loan guarantee to Israel for housing Soviet Jewish immigrants but banned use of the money in the occupied territories.

In 1992, Israeli armored ground forces withdrew from Lebanese villages following a one-day assault. Israel defended the incursion as necessary but the U.N. secretary-general protested the action.

In 1998, Tara Lipinski, 15, of the United States became the youngest person to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.


In 2003, 100 people were killed when fire broke out during a rock concert at a West Warwick, R.I., nightclub.

Also in 2003, the Pentagon announced that 1,700 U.S. troops would be sent to the Philippines to take on an extremist Muslim group.

In 2004, conservatives won the majority of seats in the Iraqi parliamentary election.

Also in 2004, a San Francisco judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have halted the city's same-sex marriages.

In 2006, the Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons of Muslim Prophet Muhammad and triggered widespread, angry and often deadly protests ran a full-page apology in Saudi papers.

In 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have no challenge rights in U.S. courts.

In 2008, a U.S. missile interceptor, launched from a U.S. Navy ship, knocked down a dying satellite 130 miles over the Pacific Ocean. Officials said the satellite contained 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic fuel.

In 2009, an explosion killed more than 30 people at a Shiite funeral in Pakistan, touching off a wave of violence. About 75 others were injured in what officials said was a suicide bombing attack.


In 2010, a minaret and part of the roof fell into a historic 18th-century mosque during services killing at least 38 people and injuring 71 more in the ancient city of Meknes, Morocco.

Also in 2010, the Netherlands' ruling coalition collapsed over disagreement on extending troop deployment in Afghanistan.

In 2011, anti-government protesters in Libya battled back against gunfire from the forces of Moammar Gadhafi as his son warned the country of a possible civil war. Some reports placed the weeklong protester death toll at 200.

Also in 2011, 10 disabled orphans were killed in a fire at an Estonia orphanage.

In 2012, poachers in search of ivory in northern Cameroon were reported to have slaughtered about 300 elephants for their tusks since mid-January.

A thought for the day: "Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart." Pablo Casals said that.

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