The almanac

United Press International

Today is Wednesday, June 26, the 177th day of 2013 with 188 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include reputed baseball pioneer Abner Doubleday in 1819; British physicist and inventor William Thomson Kelvin in 1824; Nobel literature laureate Pearl Buck in 1892; German aircraft designer Willy Messerschmitt in 1898; William Lear, developer of the Lear jet, in 1902; actor Peter Lorre in 1904; "Colonel" Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, in 1909; champion athlete Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias in 1911; musicians Mick Jones in 1955 (age 58) and Chris Isaak in 1956 (age 57); cyclist Greg LeMond in 1961 (age 52); actors Chris O'Donnell and Sean P. Hayes, both in 1970 (age 43); singer Gretchen Wilson in 1973 (age 40); baseball player Derek Jeter in 1974 (age 39); and actor Jason Schwartzman in 1980 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1900, Dr. Walter Reed and his medical team began a successful campaign to eradicate out yellow fever in the Panama Canal Zone.


In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force reached France in World War I.

In 1939, film censors approved "Gone With The Wind" but fined Producer David O. Selznick $5,000 for objectionable language in Rhett Butler's famous closing line to Scarlett O'Hara: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

In 1945, the U.N. Charter was signed by representatives of 50 nations.

Also in 1945, the FCC began development of commercial television by allocating airwaves for 13 TV stations.

In 1959, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada.

In 1974, the bar code, allowing for the electronic scanning of prices, was used for the first time. The purchase was a pack of gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

In 1976, the CN Tower, the world's tallest freestanding structure (1,815 feet, 5 inches), opened in Toronto.

In 1977, 42 people died in a county jail fire in Columbia, Tenn.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush discarded his "no new taxes" campaign pledge, saying "it is clear to me" taxes are needed as part of a deficit-reduction package.


In 1991, 120 people drowned after an Indonesian trawler and an unidentified ship collided in the Straits of Malacca.

In 1992, U.S. Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett resigned, accepting responsibility for the "Tailhook" incident involving the harassment of Navy women by naval aviators.

In 2000, two rival groups of scientists announced they had deciphered the genetic code, the human genome.

In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance recited in schools was unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God." The ruling was stayed pending appeal.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a major boost to gay-rights advocates by striking down a Texas law forbidding sexual activity between same-sex partners.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Constitution protects an individual's right to carry a gun for private use but said the ruling did nothing to alter the ban on gun ownership by felons or the mentally ill, or carrying a gun into such "sensitive" areas as schools or government buildings.

In 2011, six French mountain climbers were killed when they apparently fell while trying to scale the Neige Cordier peak in the French Alps south of Grenoble.


In 2012, officials said the windswept Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado's Pikes Peak region had forced more than 6,000 people from their homes. Thousands more would be evacuated in the days ahead.

A thought for the day: Tennessee Williams wrote, "All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness."

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