The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2013 with 16 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 the Roman Emperor Nero in A.D. 37; French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, builder of the Paris tower that bears his name and engineer of the Statue of Liberty, in 1832; Polish linguist Ludwik Zamenhof, creator of the international language Esperanto, in 1859; playwright Maxwell Anderson in 1888; billionaire oilman J. Paul Getty in 1892; bandleader Stan Kenton in 1911; pioneer rock 'n' roll disc jockey Alan Freed in 1921; comic actor Tim Conway in 1933 (age 80); rock musician Dave Clark in 1942 (age 71); and actors Don Johnson in 1949 (age 64), Helen Slater in 1963 (age 50), Garrett Wang in 1968 (age 45) and Adam Brody in 1979 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1791, the Bill of Rights, comprising the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, took effect.

In 1890, Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull was killed in a skirmish with U.S. soldiers along the Grand River in South Dakota.

In 1891, Dr. James Naismith established the first rules of basketball in Springfield, Mass.

In 1939, the film version of "Gone with the Wind" premiered in Atlanta.

In 1943, the Battle of San Pietro between U.S. forces and a German panzer battalion left the 700-year-old Italian town in ruins.

In 1948, a federal grand jury in New York indicted former U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss on perjury charges.

In 1954, "Davy Crockett," a show that may be considered TV's first miniseries, aired in a five segments on Walt Disney's "Disneyland" program.

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer regarded as the architect of the World War II Holocaust, was condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal.

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association reversed its longstanding position and declared that homosexuality isn't a mental illness.

In 1982, Teamsters Union President Roy Williams and four others were convicted in federal court of conspiring to bribe U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon, D-Nev.


In 1989, Panamanian lawmakers designated Gen. Manuel Noriega head of state and declared that a "state of war" existed with the United States.

In 1990, in a landmark right-to-die case, a Missouri judge cleared the way for the parents of Nancy Cruzan to remove their daughter from life-support systems.

In 1992, Salvadorans celebrated the formal end to their country's 12-year civil war.

In 1993, British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds issued a "framework for lasting peace" in Northern Ireland.

In 1997, 85 people were killed in the crash of a Tajik charter airliner in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2006, Al-Jazeera English, the world's first English-language news TV channel with headquarters in the Middle East, was launched in Doha, Qatar.

In 2008, the Illinois Legislature began impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

In 2011, the United States formally ended its nearly nine-year military mission in Iraq in a solemn ceremony at Baghdad's international airport.

In 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama, in his weekly radio and Internet address, said "our hearts are broken" by the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. He called for "meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this -- regardless of the politics."


A thought for the day: "Never waste a minute thinking about people you don't like." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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