The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2013 with 100 to follow.

This is the first day of autumn.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include English statesman and wit Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, in 1694; English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday in 1791; Austrian filmmaker Erich von Stroheim in 1885; humorist Frank Sullivan in 1892; actor Paul Muni in 1895; producer/actor John Houseman in 1902; actor Allan "Rocky" Lane, B-movie cowboy star of the 1940s and later the TV voice of Mr. Ed, in 1909; co-founder of Amnesty International Eric Baker in 1920; baseball Hall of Fame members Bob Lemon in 1920 and Tommy Lasorda in 1927 (age 86); actor Eugene Roche in 1928; boxing champion Ingemar Johansson in 1932; basketball Hall of fame member Lute Olson in 1934 (age 79); NBA Commissioner David Stern in 1942 (age 71); singers Toni Basil in 1943 (age 70), Debby Boone in 1956 (age 57), Nick Cave in 1957 (age 56) and Joan Jett in 1958 (age 55); tenor Andrea Bocelli and television commentator Neil Cavuto, also in 1958 (age 55); and actors Paul Le Mat in 1945 (age 68); Scott Baio in 1960 (age 53), Bonnie Hunt and Catherine Oxenberg, both in 1961 (age 52); and Tom Felton in 1987 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1776, the British hanged American Revolutionary War hero and patriot Nathan Hale. His famous last words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

In 1888, National Geographic began publishing.

In 1927, Jack Dempsey muffed a chance to regain the heavyweight championship when he knocked down Gene Tunney but failed to go to a neutral corner promptly, thereby delaying the referee's count and giving the champ time to get up.

In 1949, the U.S. nuclear monopoly ended when the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb.

In 1975, self-proclaimed revolutionary Sara Jane Moore attempted to kill U.S. President Gerald Ford as he walked from a San Francisco hotel. A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd.

In 1980, long-standing border disputes and political turmoil in Iran prompted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to launch an invasion of Iran's oil-producing province of Khuzestan, touching off an eight-year war.

In 1985, more than 50 rock and country stars, headed by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, staged the 14-hour Farm Aid concert for 78,000 rain-soaked spectators in Champaign, Ill., raising $10 million for debt-ridden U.S. farmers.


In 1989, Irving Berlin, whose long list of enduring songs include "God Bless America" and "White Christmas," died in his sleep at his home in New York City at the age of 101.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced his healthcare reform package in a speech before a joint session of Congress.

In 1999, the U.S. Justice Department sued five major U.S. tobacco companies and two defunct lobbying groups, charging they colluded to defraud the public about the addictive nature of tobacco products.

In 2005, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to recommend the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States, succeeding the late William Rehnquist.

In 2008, officials at China's health ministry said nearly 53,000 children, most of them younger than 2 years old, had been sickened by milk powder tainted with an industrial chemical. At least four children died. Ten Asian and African nations, including Japan, temporarily banned Chinese dairy products.

In 2010, a Miami appeals court affirmed the adoption of two foster children by a gay couple, ruling Florida's ban on same-sex adoption was unconstitutional.

In 2012, Washington state health authorities said they had shipped more than 20,000 face masks to several counties where smoke from wildfires made breathing difficult.


A thought for the day: "The problem is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the people who are most certain of them." -- Bill Maher

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