The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 4, the 247th day of 2013 with 118 to follow.

This is the first day of Rosh Hashanah.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include French novelist and politician Francois Rene de Chateaubriand in 1768; architect Daniel Burnham in 1846; engineer-inventor Lewis Latimer in 1848; French composer Darius Milhaud in 1892; bandleader Jan Savitt in 1907; novelist and essayist Richard Wright in 1908; radio news commentator Paul Harvey in 1918; actor Dick York in 1928; dancer/actor Mitzi Gaynor in 1931 (age 82); golf Hall of Fame members Raymond Floyd in 1942 (age 71) and Tom Watson in 1949 (age 64); actor Judith Ivey in 1951 (age 62); comedian Damon Wayans in 1960 (age 53); actor Ione Skye, daughter of pop singer Donovan, in 1970 (age 43); and singer Beyonce Knowles in 1981 (age 32).


On this date in history:

In 1609, navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.

In 1954, the first voyage through the fabled Northwest Passage was completed by icebreakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

In 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine African-American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

In 1972, U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk proposed a new constitution. It provided for universal voting rights and opened Parliament to all races.

In 1998, for the first time since news of his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke, U.S. President Bill Clinton said he was "sorry" for what he had done.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush said he would seek congressional approval for any military move on Iraq. He also promised to consult with allies, some of whom were opposed to his "regime change" plan.

In 2006, Steve Irwin, Australia's internationally renowned "Crocodile Hunter" TV star, was killed by a stingray barb to the heart while he was filming underwater.


In 2008, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony charges of obstruction of justice and agreed to resign, serve four months in jail and pay a $1 million fine. The plea was aimed at ending a scandal stemming from his attempts to conceal an affair with his former chief of staff.

In 2010, a U.S. District judge in San Francisco struck down California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriages, saying it was unconstitutional.

In 2011, Typhoon Talas hit western Japan with 75 mph winds and torrential rains that triggered deadly landslides. Authorities reported 18 dead and at least 50 others missing.

In 2012, the Democratic National Convention opened in Charlotte, N.C.

A thought for the day: Enoch Arnold Bennett said, "Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism."

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