The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2014 with 337 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 Roman Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas in 1225; Canadian Prime Minister and statesman Alexander MacKenzie in 1822; British explorer Henry Morton Stanley in 1841; Cuban revolutionary and poet Jose Marti in 1853; French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in 1873; concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein in 1887; abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock in 1912; musician Acker Bilk and sculptor Claes Oldenburg in 1929 (age 85); actor Alan Alda in 1936 (age 78); former Liberian leader Charles Taylor and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, both in 1948 (age 66); former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 1955 (age 59); singer Sarah McLachlan in 1968 (age 46); comedian Mo Rocca in 1969 (age 45); actors Susan Howard in 1944 (age 70) and Elijah Wood in 1981 (age 33); and singers Joey Fatone in 1977 (age 37) and Nick Carter in 1980 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1547, Henry VIII died and 9-year-old Edward VI became king of England.

In 1782, the U.S. Congress authorized creation of the Great Seal of the United States.

In 1813, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was published.

In 1878, the first commercial telephone switchboard began operation in New Haven, Conn.

In 1958, The Lego Group received a patent for its toy building blocks.

In 1965, the Canadian Parliament accepted a new national flag design that included a red maple leaf in its center.

In 1974, Israel lifted its siege of Suez City and turned over 300,000 square miles of Egyptian territory to the United Nations, ending an occupation that had begun during the October 1973 war.

In 1982, kidnapped U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier was rescued in Padua, Italy, after being held 42 days by Italian Red Brigades militants.

In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 72 seconds after launch from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe.

In 1993, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that the U.S. military's policy against homosexuals was unconstitutional because it was "based on cultural myths and false stereotypes."


In 1995, the United States and Vietnam agreed to exchange low-level diplomats and open liaison offices in each other's capital cities.

In 1997, five former police officers in South Africa admitted to killing anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko, who died in police custody in 1977 and whose death had been officially listed as an accident.

In 2000, the U.S. government admitted that workers making nuclear weapons were exposed to radiation and chemicals that led to cancer and early death.

In 2004, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq told Congress government officials "were almost all wrong" in believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and called for an outside independent investigation of the apparent intelligence failure.

In 2005, Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as the 66th U.S. secretary of state. She was the first African-American woman to hold the office.

In 2009, the World Health Organization said more than 3,000 people died of cholera during an outbreak in Zimbabwe.

In 2011, Tunisia's interim government issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali who fled to Saudi Arabia after massive demonstrations forced him from office.

In 2013, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced she would end her 33-year rule in April.


A thought for the day: "Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent." -- Sophia Loren

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