The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2014 with 327 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 English statesman and writer Thomas More in 1478; farm equipment manufacturer John Deere in 1804; English novelist Charles Dickens in 1812; "Little House" books author Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1867; novelist Sinclair Lewis in 1885; ragtime composer and pianist Eubie Blake in 1887; Buster Crabbe, actor ("Flash Gordon") and Olympic swimming gold medalist, in 1908; writer Gay Talese in 1932 (age 82); actors Pete Postlethwaite in 1946, Miguel Ferrer in 1955 (age 59), James Spader in 1960 (age 54), Eddie Izzard in 1962 (age 52) and Ashton Kutcher in 1978 (age 36); comedian Emo Philips in 1956 (age 58); country singer Garth Brooks in 1962 (age 52); and comedian Chris Rock in 1966 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1497, the Bonfire of the Vanities in Florence, Italy, took place when followers of Girolamo Savonarola burned thousands of books, art and cosmetics.

In 1795, states ratified the U.S. Constitution's 11th Amendment, which outlines the power of the federal judiciary.

In 1898, Emile Zola went on trial for libel following publication of "J'Accuse."

In 1940, British railroads were nationalized.

In 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of "Beatlemania."

In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.

In 1984, U.S. shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart made the first untethered space walk.

In 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was inaugurated as Haiti's first democratically elected president in 186 years.

In 1992, the European Union was created when the Maastricht Treaty was signed.

In 1993, 13 more women accused U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood of improper advances, bringing the total to 23 women who said the Oregon Republican harassed them with unwelcome sexual overtures.

In 1995, the mastermind in the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, was arrested in Pakistan. (He was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.)


In 1999, King Hussein of Jordan died of cancer at age 63. Hussein ruled Jordan for 46 years.

In 2005, rescuers reported no survivors among the 104 people aboard an Afghan airliner that crashed in the mountains near Kabul. It was Afghanistan's worst air disaster.

In 2009, the worst series of brushfires in Australian history claimed more than 200 lives, destroyed almost 2,000 homes and burned at least 1.1 million acres in Victoria state.

In 2010, Viktor Yanukovich regained the Ukrainian presidency.

In 2012, a federal appeals court in California rejected a ban on same-sex marriage that voters had approved four years earlier.

In 2013, a Gallup poll indicated 57 percent of Americans said their standard of living is improving and 27 percent said it is getting worse.

A thought for the day: "Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on ability." -- Sandra Day O'Connor.

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