The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 2014 with 315 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Saturn and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus in 1473; British actor David Garrick in 1717; Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi in 1876; actor Merle Oberon in 1911; jockey Eddie Arcaro in 1916; novelist Carson McCullers in 1917; actor Lee Marvin in 1924; television and movie director John Frankenheimer in 1930; singers William "Smokey" Robinson, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, in 1940 (age 74) and Lou Christie in 1943 (age 71); author Amy Tan in 1952 (age 62); Argentine President Cristina Fernandez in 1953 (age 61); actors Jeff Daniels in 1955 (age 59), Justine Bateman in 1966 (age 48) and Benicio Del Toro in 1967 (age 47); singer Seal in 1963 (age 51); and Britain's Prince Andrew in 1960 (age 54).


On this date in history:

In 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus, the father of modern astronomy, was born in Torun, a city in north-central Poland.

In 1807, Aaron Burr, a former U.S. vice president, was arrested in Alabama on charges of plotting to annex Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment of an independent republic.

In 1878, Thomas Edison patented the first gramophone.

In 1922, vaudeville star Ed Wynn became the first big name in show business to sign for a regular radio show.

In 1942, as a security measure during World War II, the U.S. government began relocating Japanese-Americans living in coastal Pacific areas to internment camps in remote areas of several states. (They were allowed to return to their homes in January 1945.)

In 1945, U.S. Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima, opening one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II.

In 1986, the Soviet Union launched the Mir space station. (It was occupied for 10 of its 15 years in orbit.)

In 1997, China's "paramount leader" Deng Xiaoping died at age 92.

In 2003, all 289 people aboard an Iranian military transport plane were killed when it crashed in a mountainous region of southeastern Iran.


In 2005, U.S. Roman Catholic officials said they received 1,092 charges of clergy sex abuse, most involving boys.

In 2008, Cuban President Fidel Castro, 81, who temporarily handed power to his brother, Raul, in July 2006, because of illness, stepped down permanently after 49 years in power. Raul, 76, then formally succeeded him.

In 2010, golfer Tiger Woods accepted responsibility for his reckless actions, apologizing to a global audience and telling the media to leave his family alone. Admitting his infidelity, he said, "I am the only person to blame."

In 2012, 44 inmates died and 30 escaped during a prison riot in northern Mexico.

In 2013, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, unable to forge a new government amid mounting citizen protests, announced his resignation.

A thought for the day: "When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses. -- Shirley Chisholm

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