The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 14, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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This is Friday, Feb. 14, the 45th day of 2014 with 320 to follow.

This is Valentine's Day.

The moon is full. 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 statesman and abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1818; Medal of Honor recipient Julian Scott in 1846; suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw in 1847; comedy legend Jack Benny in 1894; actor Thelma Ritter in 1905; sports announcer Mel Allen, football Coach Woody Hayes and labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, all in 1913; broadcaster Hugh Downs in 1921 (age 93); hockey Hall of Fame member Bernie Geoffrion in 1931; actor/singer Florence Henderson in 1934 (age 80); entrepreneur and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1942 (age 72); writer Carl Bernstein in 1944 (age 70); dancer/actor Gregory Hines in 1946; magician Raymond Joseph Teller, of Penn and Teller, in 1948 (age 66); radio host Terry Gross in 1951 (age 63); opera star Renee Fleming in 1959 (age 55); actors Meg Tilly in 1960 (age 54), Simon Pegg in 1970 (age 44) and Freddie Highmore in 1992 (age 22); and musician Rob Thomas in 1972 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1779, British navigator and explorer James Cook, first known European to reach the Hawaiian Islands, was stabbed to death by island natives while investigating the theft of a boat.

In 1849, James Polk became the first U.S. president to be photographed while in office. The photographer was Mathew Brady, who is famous for his Civil War pictures.

In 1859, Oregon was admitted as the 33rd member of the United States.

In 1886, the West Coast citrus industry was born. The first trainload of oranges left Los Angeles for eastern markets.

In 1903, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signed a law creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.

In 1912, Arizona was admitted to the 48th member of the United States.

In 1920, the League of Women Voters was formed in Chicago.

In 1929, in what became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre," gunmen believed to be working for Prohibition-era crime lord Al Capone killed seven members of the rival George "Bugs" Moran gang in a Chicago garage.

In 1949, Israel's legislature, the Knesset, convened for the first time.

In 1989, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, offended by "The Satanic Verses," called on Muslims to kill its British author, Salman Rushdie. He offered a $1 million reward for Rushdie's death, sending the writer into hiding. (Iran rescinded the death sentence in 1998.)

In 1990, 90 people were killed and 56 injured in the crash of an Indian Airlines Airbus 320, about 50 yards short of a runway in Bangalore, India.

In 1994, a convicted serial killer who admitted killing 55 people was executed by firing squad in a Russian prison.

In 2004, at least 25 people died and 100 others were injured when a giant glass roof collapsed at the largest city water park in Moscow. Authorities suspected faulty construction.

In 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated. Twenty-one others died with him.

In 2008, a former student at Northern Illinois University opened fire in a lecture hall at the school, killing six students and wounding 15 others before killing himself.

In 2011, Chevron was ordered to pay $8.6 billion to clean up oil pollution in a rain forest area in northeastern Ecuador.

In 2012, Iran warned six European countries that it might cut them off from Iranian oil in reaction to international sanctions against its nuclear program. The threat was made to Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Greece and Portugal.

In 2013, police said they charged South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius with murder in the shooting of his girlfriend.

A thought for the day: "People will pay more to be entertained than educated." -- Johnny Carson

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