The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2014 with 364 days to follow.

This is New Year's Day.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include Italian statesman Lorenzo de' Medici in 1449, American patriot Paul Revere in 1735; American Revolution-era Gen. Anthony Wayne in 1745; Betsy Ross, who, legend has it, made the first American flag, in 1752; modern Olympic movement founder Pierre de Coubertin in 1863; photography pioneer Alfred Stieglitz in 1864; English novelist E.M. Forster in 1879; FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in 1895; bandleader Xavier Cugat in 1900; baseball Hall of Fame member Hank Greenberg in 1911; British-born Soviet master spy Harold "Kim" Philby in 1912; boxer Rocky Graziano and novelist J.D. Salinger, both in 1919; actors Dana Andrews in 1909 and Frank Langella in 1938 (age 76); football Hall of Fame member Doak Walker in 1927; businessman Ron Perelman in 1943 (age 71); writer Shelby Steele in 1946 (age 68) former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in 1947 (age 67); and model Elin Nordegren, former wife of golfer Tiger Woods, in 1980 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 45 B.C., New Year's Day was celebrated on Jan. 1 for the first time as the Julian calendar took effect.

In 1801, Ceres, classified as a dwarf planet, was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

In 1803, two months after his defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's colonial forces, Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed the independence of Saint-Domingue, renaming it Haiti after its original Arawak name.

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, introduced the previous September by Abraham Lincoln, took effect. It declared freedom for slaves in all areas of the Confederacy that were still in rebellion against the Union.

In 1890, the first Tournament of Roses parade took place in Pasadena, Calif.

In 1892, Ellis Island opened in New York Harbor.

In 1902, the University of Michigan beat Stanford, 49-0, in the inaugural Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif.

In 1951, the Zenith Radio Corp. of Chicago demonstrated the first pay-per-view television system, offering three movies, "April Showers," "Welcome Stranger" and "Homecoming."

In 1953, influential country singer Hank Williams, 29, died of a heart attack while in a limousine on the way to a show in Canton, Ohio.


In 1959, Fidel Castro declared victory in the Cuban revolution as dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the island.

In 1962, the Beatles auditioned for Decca records in London on the same day as Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Decca chose the Tremeloes.

In 1975, a jury convicted former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell and former White House aides John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman on all counts in the Watergate coverup case.

In 1993, the country of Czechoslovakia dissolved with the New Year, replaced by separate Czech Republic and Slovak states.

In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, took effect.

In 1998, a law went into effect in California banning smoking in bars and nightclubs. It already was illegal to smoke in the state's restaurants and cafes.

In 2002, 12 European countries turned in their own currency and adopted a common one, the euro. It was the biggest currency change in history.

In 2007, South Korea's Ban Ki-moon succeeded Kofi Annan of Ghana as secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 2009, police said a fire killed at least 52 people and injured about 100 at the two-story Santika Club in Bangkok. The fire erupted shortly after approximately 1,000 revelers rang in the New Year.


In 2010, a suicide bomber killed nearly 90 people, most of them children, during a New Year's Day volleyball game in Laki Marwat, a city in northwest Pakistan.

In 2013, Ivory Coast authorities said at least 60 people were killed in a stampede as crowds left a New Year's fireworks show at a stadium in Abidjan.

A thought for the day: It was U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt who said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

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