The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2014 with 349 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include German philosopher Franz Brentano in 1838; Andre Michelin, the French industrialist who first mass-produced rubber automobile tires, in 1853; Canadian poet Robert Service in 1874; former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and inventor Frank Zamboni, both in 1901; singer Ethel Merman in 1908; baseball Hall of Fame member Jay "Dizzy" Dean in 1910; zoologist Dian Fossey in 1932; writer Susan Sontag in 1933; opera singer Marilyn Horne in 1934 (age 80); race car driver A.J. Foyt in 1935 (age 79); country singer Ronnie Milsap in 1943 (age 71); radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger in 1947 (age 67); film director John Carpenter in 1948 (age 66); choreographer, actor and director Debbie Allen in 1950 (age 64); Nigerian singer Sade Adu in 1959 (age 55); British television host James May in 1963 (age 51); British model Kate Moss in 1974 (age 40); and baseball star Albert Pujols in 1980 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1581, the English Parliament outlawed Roman Catholicism.

In 1777, Vermont declared independence from New York.

In 1883, the U.S. Congress passed a bill creating the civil service.

In 1919, the United States went legally "dry" as prohibition of alcoholic beverages took effect under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. (The amendment was repealed in 1933.)

In 1925, Leon Trotsky was dismissed as chairman of the Russian Revolution Military Council.

In 1942, screen star Carole Lombard, her mother and 20 other people were killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas. Lombard was the wife of actor Clark Gable.

In 1944, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower arrived in London to assume command of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for "peaceful competition" with Moscow. He authorized research and development on space-age weapons capable of destroying incoming nuclear missiles -- the program known as "Star Wars."

In 1991, the Persian Gulf War began with the allied bombing of Baghdad.

In 2001, President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was shot to death by one of his bodyguards, who was killed by other guards.


In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush said his re-election was a ratification of what he did in Iraq and there was no reason to hold any administration official accountable.

In 2006, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia's president. She was the first female elected head of state in Africa.

In 2008, Republican Bobby Jindal took over as the governor of Louisiana. He was the first Indian-American elected to that office in the United States and, at 36, the nation's youngest governor.

In 2011, the death toll from floods and mudslides in Brazil reached 641.

In 2013, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced a tax amnesty program, offering an opportunity to people owing taxes to pay without penalty.

A thought for the day: "When a thing is done, it's done. Don't look back. Look forward to your next objective." -- Gen. George C. Marshall

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