The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, June 30, the 181st day of 2013 with 184 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 English socialist leader Harold Laski in 1893; actor Susan Hayward and singer Lena Horne, both in 1917; magician Harry Blackstone Jr. in 1934; actor Nancy Dussault in 1936 (age 77); singer Florence Ballard of The Supremes in 1943; actor David Alan Grier in 1955 (age 58); former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson in 1966 (age 47); singe and "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrio in 1984 (age 29); and swimmer Michael Phelps, winner of 18 Olympic gold medals, in 1985 (age 28).


On this date in history:

In 1859, Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, known professionally as the Great Blondin, became the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

In 1870, Ada Kepley became the first woman to graduate from an accredited law school in the United States, Union College of Law in Chicago.

In 1905, the theory of relativity was introduced by Albert Einstein in "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies."

In 1908, a spectacular explosion occurred over central Siberia, probably caused by a meteorite. The fireball could be seen hundreds of miles away.

In 1923, jazz pioneer Sidney Bechet made his first recording. It included "Wild Cat Blues" and "Kansas City Blues."

In 1934, German leader Adolf Hitler ordered a bloody purge of his own political party. Hundreds of Nazis he feared might become political enemies were assassinated.

In 1936, Margaret Mitchell's Civil War novel "Gone With the Wind" was published.

In 1950, U.S. troops were moved from Japan to help defend South Korea against the invading North Koreans.

In 1982, the extended deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment expired, three states short of the 38 needed for passage.


In 1971, three Soviet Cosmonauts, crewmembers of the world's first space station, were killed when their spacecraft depressurized during re-entry.

In 1986, Hugh Hefner, calling his Playboy Bunny a "symbol of the past," closed Playboy Clubs in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

In 1992, Fidel Ramos was inaugurated as the eighth Philippine president in the first peaceful transfer of power in a generation.

In 1998, a casualty of the Vietnam War buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Va., was identified as Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie of St. Louis.

In 2004, the Cassini spacecraft, in space on a U.S.-European mission, became the first device to orbit the planet Saturn.

In 2005, Israel declared the Gaza Strip a closed military zone. All Israelis, except for residents, service providers and reporters, were barred from entering.

In 2006, a U.S.-Canadian investigation grounded a group accused of using helicopters and planes to ferry drugs from British Columbia across the border. Agents reported arresting 46 people and seizing 4 tons of marijuana, 800 pounds of cocaine, aircraft and $1.5 million in cash.

In 2009, the U.S. military completed its withdrawal from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities and towns as planned. Nearly 130,000 American troops remained on duty at forward-operating bases.


Also in 2009, Yemenia Airways Flight IY626, which had taken off from Sanaa, Yemen, crashed into the Indian Ocean while trying to land at Moroni, the capital of Comoros, killing 152 of 153 people aboard. The lone survivor was a 14-year-old girl.

In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as director of the CIA.

In 2012, members of the Ansar Dine Islamic rebel group, wielding shovels and pickaxes, damaged historic shrines of Muslim saints in Timbuktu, Mali, considering them idolatrous.

A thought for the day: Bertrand Russell said, "Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it."

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