The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, Dec. 27, the 361st day of 2013 with four to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 Capricorn. They include German astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1571; English engineer George Cayley, father of the science of aerodynamics, in 1773; French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur in 1822; actors Sydney Greenstreet in 1879, Marlene Dietrich in 1901 and Cliff Arquette in 1905; musician/actor Oscar Levant in 1906; actor John Amos in 1939 (age 74); news correspondent Cokie Roberts in 1943 (age 70); French actor Gerard Depardieu in 1948 (age 65); and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon in 1951 (age 62).

On this date in history:

In 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York.

In 1941, Japanese warplanes bombed Manila in the Philippines even though it had been declared an "open city."

In 1947, the first "Howdy Doody" show, under the title "Puppet Playhouse," was telecast on NBC.


In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts -- Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders -- returned to Earth after orbiting the moon 10 times in a flight that opened the way for moon-landing missions.

In 1991, a Scandinavian Airlines jet with 129 people aboard crashed and broke apart after taking off from Stockholm. No one died in the incident.

In 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, first woman to hold that post in an Islamic state, was assassinated in a suicide attack as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi. Police said she was shot twice by a gunman who then set off a bomb in her motorcade, killing another 20 people.

In 2008, 225 people died when Israeli jets bombed Gaza in retaliation for Hamas-fired rockets, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. At least 300 people were wounded.

In 2012, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the U.S. Central Command during the Persian Gulf War, died in Tampa, Fla. He was 78.

A thought for the day: "America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, human rights invented America." -- President Jimmy Carter


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