The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Saturday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2013 with 326 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 Civil War-era U.S. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in 1820; pioneer science fiction writer Jules Verne in 1828; Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, who devised the periodic table, in 1834; actors Charles Ruggles in 1886 and Edith Evans in 1888; film director King Vidor in 1894; Chester Carlson, inventor of the Xerox copying process, in 1906; actors Lana Turner in 1921, Audrey Meadows in 1922, Jack Lemmon in 1925, Alejandro Rey in 1930 and James Dean in 1931; Oscar-winning composer/conductor John Williams in 1932 (age 82); television journalist Ted Koppel in 1940 (age 74); actor Nick Nolte and folk singer Tom Rush, both in 1941 (age 73); comedian Robert Klein in 1942 (age 72); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ron Tyson (The Temptations) in 1948 (age 66); actors Brooke Adams in 1949 (age 65) and Mary Steenburgen in 1953 (age 61); author John Grisham in 1955 (age 59); actors Gary Coleman in 1968 and Seth Green in 1974 (age 40); and Philippines President Benigno Aquino III in 1960 (age 54).


On this date in history:

In 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded, charged with conspiring to kill England's Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1692, a doctor in Massachusetts Bay Colony said two village girls may be bewitched, a charge that set off the Salem witch trials.

In 1693, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., was granted a charter by Britain's King William III.

In 1725, Peter the Great, emperor of Russia, died and was succeeded by his wife, Catherine.

In 1915, D.W. Griffith's "The Birth Of A Nation," a landmark in the history of cinema and the first American full-length motion picture, opened in Los Angeles and was immediately a smash hit though many found its treatment of race offensive.

In 1940, Nazis shot every 10th person in two Polish villages near Warsaw in reprisal for the deaths of two German soldiers.

In 1960, the first plaques installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honored Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick Ernest Torrence and Joanne Woodward.

In 1974, three U.S. Skylab astronauts ended an 84-day orbital flight.


In 1993, a chartered passenger plane collided with a military aircraft near Tehran, killing 133 people.

In 2002, the Olympic Winter Games opened in Salt Lake City.

In 2007, Anna Nicole Smith, a 39-year-old actor, model and tabloid fixture, was found dead in a Hollywood, Fla., hotel. Her death was attributed to accidental sedative overdose.

In 2008, a man at odds with city officials went on a shooting rampage at a Kirkwood, Mo., City Council meeting, killing five people, police said. Officers killed the suspect, identified as Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, an independent contractor.

In 2011, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was added to the list of "accused" in the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf, in exile in London, was the country's military ruler when Bhutto was slain.

In 2013, Jeffrey Delisle, a junior Canadian naval officer who sold military secrets to Russia, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A thought for the day: Booker T. Washington said, "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."


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