The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2013 with 19 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include John Jay, first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1745; French novelist Gustave Flaubert in 1821; Norwegian painter Edvard Munch in 1863; actor Edward G. Robinson in 1893; English writer Patrick O'Brian in 1914; singer/actor Frank Sinatra in 1915; TV game show host Bob Barker in 1923 (age 90); former New York Mayor Edward Koch in 1924; basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Pettit in 1932 (age 81); singers Connie Francis in 1938 (age 75) and Dionne Warwick in 1940 (age 73); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dickey Betts in 1943 (age 70); actors Tom Wilkinson in 1948 (age 65) and Bill Nighy in 1949 (age 64); former Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby in 1952 (age 61); musician Sheila E in 1957 (age 56), former tennis star Tracy Austin in 1962 (age 51); and actors Jennifer Connelly in 1970 (age 43) and Mayim Bialik in 1975 (age 38).


In this date in history:

In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1870, Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina was sworn in as the first African-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1901, Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1913, two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Mona Lisa" was recovered in a Florence, Italy, hotel room.

In 1917, the Rev. Edward J. Flanagan, a 31-year-old Irish priest, opened the doors to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children in Omaha. He lived by the adage, "There is no such thing as a bad boy."

In 1937, Japanese planes bombed and sank the U.S. gunboat Panay in the Yangtze River north of Nanking, China. Japan later said it was a mistake.

In 1975, Sara Jane Moore said she willfully tried to kill U.S. President Gerald Ford. She was sentenced to life in prison (but was released Dec. 31, 2007).

In 1981, martial law was imposed in Poland.


In 1985, the crash of an Arrow Air DC-8 military charter on takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, killed all 256 people aboard, including 248 U.S. soldiers.

In 1991, the Russian Parliament ratified a commonwealth treaty linking the three strongest Soviet republics in the nation's most profound change since the 1917 revolution.

In 2003, Paul Martin became Canada's 21st prime minister, succeeding Jean Chretien.

In 2005, Jibran Tueni, an anti-Syrian member of the Lebanese Parliament and head of a leading Lebanon newspaper, was killed in an explosion that tore through his armored car outside Beirut.

In 2006, a Baghdad suicide bomber, luring unemployed Iraqis to his truck with promises of work, killed at least 60 people and injured 220 others.

In 2012, South Korean authorities said North Korea, defying international warnings and a U.N. resolution, fired a long-range test rocket.

A thought for the day: "Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate." -- Sigmund Freud

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