The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Saturday, Dec. 14, the 348th day of 2013 with 17 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 French astrologer and prophet Nostradamus in 1503; Danish astronomer and mathematician Tycho Brahe in 1546; World War II U.S. air ace Jimmy Doolittle in 1896; former U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, in 1897; comedian Morey Amsterdam in 1908; comic bandleader Spike Jones in 1911; actor Dan Dailey in 1915; horror novelist Shirley Jackson in 1916; choreographer June Taylor in 1917; TV news producer Don Hewitt in 1922; country singer Charlie Rich in 1932; actors Lee Remick in 1935, Patty Duke in 1946 (age 67) and Dee Wallace in 1948 (age 65); football Hall of Fame member Ernie Davis in 1939; tennis Hall of Fame member Stan Smith in 1946 (age 67); Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 1947 (age 66) and actor Vanessa Hudgens in 1988 (age 25).


On this date in history:

In 1287, more than 50,000 people died in a flood caused by the collapse of the Zuider Zee dike in the Netherlands.

In 1799, George Washington, war for independence military leader and first president of the United States, died at his Mount Vernon home in Virginia.

In 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state in the United States.

In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole.

In 1972, Apollo 17 crew member Eugene Cernan entered the lunar lander -- the last man to walk on the moon in the Apollo program.

In 1988, the United States announced the start of a "substantive dialogue" with the Palestine Liberation Organization for the first time.

In 1989, Andrei Sakharov, father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner for defending human rights, died at age 68.

In 1995, the signing of a peace treaty at a ceremony in Paris officially ended a four-year civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust was a "myth" and called for Israel to be moved to Europe or North America.


In 2006, the official British police investigation into the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash concluded that it was an accident and no conspiracy or foul play was involved.

In 2010, more than two-thirds of Americans said whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks hurt the public interest by releasing classified diplomatic cables, a Washington Post/ABC News poll indicated. Nearly six in 10 respondents said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should face criminal charges.

In 2012, a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., then committed suicide. Police said the black-clad attacker, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother before going to the school.

A thought for the day: William James said, "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."

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