The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Dec. 16, the 350th day of 2013 with 15 to follow.

The moon is full. 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 Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of England's King Henry VIII, in 1485; German composer Ludwig van Beethoven in 1770; novelist Jane Austen in 1775; Spanish philosopher George Santayana in 1863; British playwright and composer Noel Coward in 1899; anthropologist Margaret Mead in 1901; science fiction writers Arthur C. Clarke in 1917 and Philip K. Dick in 1928; actor Liv Ullmann and sports journalist Frank Deford, both in 1938 (age 75); journalist Lesley Stahl in 1941 (age 72); TV producer Steven Bochco in 1943 (age 70); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Benny Andersson (ABBA) in 1946 (age 67) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) in 1949 (age 64); actors Ben Cross in 1947 (age 66), Benjamin Bratt in 1963 (age 50) and Miranda Otto in 1967 (age 46); and musician Flo Rida (born Tramar Dillard) in 1979 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1773, about 50 American patriots, protesting the British tax on tea, dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor in the "Boston Tea Party."

In 1835, a fire swept New York City, razing 600 buildings and causing $20 million damage.

In 1893, Anton Dvorak's "New World Symphony" premiered at New York's Carnegie Hall.

In 1913, British actor Charles Chaplin reported to work at Keystone Studios in Hollywood, launching a legendary film career.

In 1944, Germany launched a counteroffensive in World War II that became known as "The Battle of the Bulge."

In 1953, Chuck Yeager set an airborne speed record, flying a Bell X-1A rocket-fueled plane at more than 1,600 miles an hour.

In 1960, 131 people were killed in the collision of two planes over foggy New York Harbor.

In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly repealed a resolution equating Zionism with racism. It had been a major stumbling block in achieving peace in the Middle East.

In 1998, U.S. and British jet fighters began a four-night campaign of bombing more than 100 Iraqi military targets. The long-threatened action came after the allies concluded Iraq wouldn't cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.


In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush signed legislation authorizing the creation of a museum honoring African-Americans.

In 2005, the Palestinian militant group Hamas won a sweeping victory in West Bank municipal elections.

In 2006, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman died at age 94.

In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted its first resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in five years, calling on both sides to step up efforts for a lasting peace and stating that U.S.-brokered talks were "irreversible."

In 2012, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party scored a big win in parliamentary elections and Shinzo Abe was set to become prime minister for the second time. (Abe officially assumed the office 10 days later.)

A thought for the day: It was George Santayana who said, "The earth has music for those who listen."

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