The almanac

By United Press International  |  Jan. 25, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2014 with 340 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 Aquarius. They include Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle, a founder of modern chemistry, in 1627; Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1759; soap maker and philanthropist William Colgate in 1783; Confederate Gen. George Pickett in 1825; novelists W. Somerset Maugham in 1874 and Virginia Woolf in 1882; Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell in 1918; news commentator Edwin Newman in 1919; football Hall of Fame member Lou Groza in 1924; former Philippine President Corazon Aquino in 1933; singer Etta James in 1938; football Hall of Fame member Carl Eller in 1942 (age 72); track star Steve Prefontaine in 1951; actors Dean Jones in 1931 (age 83); Leigh Taylor-Young in 1945 (age 69) and Dinah Manoff in 1958 (age 56); and singer Alicia Keys in 1981 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1533, Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn, his second wife.

In 1554, the city of Sao Paulo was established in Brazil.

In 1858, Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March" was played at the marriage of Friedrich of Prussia and England's Princess Victoria, the daughter of Queen Victoria. (It became a standard theme for weddings.)

In 1890, Nellie Bly, a young New York reporter, completed a trip around the world in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes.

In 1915, transcontinental phone service was inaugurated in a hookup between New York and San Francisco.

In 1919, the League of Nations was founded. (It lasted until 1946 when it was replaced by the United Nations.)

In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix, France.

In 1947, gangster Al "Scarface" Capone died at age 48 after suffering from syphilis.

In 1959, the first scheduled transcontinental flight took place, a non-stop American Airlines flight from California to New York.

In 1961, newly inaugurated U.S. President John Kennedy had the first televised presidential news conference.

In 1971, Charles Manson and three women were found guilty of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles.

In 1981, 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days returned to the United States.

In 1984, Apple's Macintosh computer went on sale. Price tag: $2,495.

In 1990, a Colombian jetliner with little fuel left crashed in Long Island, N.Y., after missing its first approach to Kennedy Airport. Seventy-three people died.

In 1993, a man with a rifle opened fire near the main CIA gate in Langley, Va., killing two agency employees and wounding three others.

In 2004, Opportunity, the second of two NASA robot explorers, landed on Mars, joining its twin to explore the planet.

In 2006, the militant Islamic group Hamas, calling for destruction of Israel, scored a stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary election.

In 2010, the man known as "Chemical Ali" -- Ali Hassan al-Majid, cousin and aide to Saddam Hussein -- was executed in Iraq for his role in a poison-gas attack in which 5,000 Kurds were killed.

In 2013, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., expressed frustration over "legislative gridlock and partisan posturing" and said he wouldn't run for re-election in 2014.

A thought for the day: Eric Hoffer wrote, "The fear of becoming a has-been keeps some people from becoming anything."

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