The almanac

United Press International

Today is Thursday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2014 with 321 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 Bess Truman, wife of former U.S. President Harry Truman, in 1885; artist Grant Wood in 1891; writer Georges Simenon in 1903; golf Hall of Fame member Patty Berg in 1918; singer "Tennessee" Ernie Ford and football Coach Eddie Robinson, both in 1919; pilot Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, in 1923 (age 91); actors Kim Novak in 1933 (age 81), George Segal in 1934 (age 80), Oliver Reed in 1938, Carol Lynley in 1942 (age 72) and Stockard Channing in 1944 (age 70); talk show host Jerry Springer, also in 1944 (age 70); musicians Peter Tork of the Monkees in 1942 (age 72) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Peter Gabriel (Genesis) in 1950 (age 64); actor David Naughton in 1951 (age 63); Hall of Fame basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski in 1947 (age 67); and fitness activist Denise Austin in 1957 (age 57).


On this date in history:

In 1635, the Boston Latin School was founded. (It is the oldest public school in the United States.)

In 1668, Portugal was recognized as an independent nation by Spain.

In 1861, the first Medal of Honor was awarded. It went to Col. Bernard Irwin, an assistant Army surgeon serving in the first major U.S.-Apache conflict.

In 1945, allied firebombing of the German city of Dresden caused a firestorm that destroyed the city and killed as many as 135,000 people.

In 1960, France tested its first atomic weapon.

In 1974, the Soviet Union expelled dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

In 1984, Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as Soviet leader.

In 2001, more than 400 people were killed in an earthquake in El Salvador.

In 2002, Pakistani police announced the arrest of the prime suspect in the abduction and slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

In 2006, a U.N. report accused the United States of violating prisoners' rights at its military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2009, a Continental airlines turboprop commuter plane crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people, including one person in the house.


In 2013, authorities announced that 10 police officers in the Atlanta area had been charged with taking payoffs to protect a drug gang. The U.S. attorney in the city said "the "breadth of corruption is troubling."

A thought for the day: U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said, "I hope for an America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity."

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