The almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 27, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2014 with 307 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1807; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1886; David Sarnoff, RCA board chairman and father of American television, in 1891; actor William Demarest in 1892; soprano Marian Anderson in 1897; novelist John Steinbeck and golf Hall of Fame member Gene Sarazen, both in 1902; actor Joan Bennett in 1910; former Texas Gov. John Connally in 1917; actors Joanne Woodward in 1930 (age 84), Elizabeth Taylor in 1932, Barbara Babcock in 1937 (age 77), Howard Hesseman in 1940 (age 74) and Mary Frann in 1943; consumer activist Ralph Nader in 1934 (age 80); physicist Alan Guth in 1947 (age 67); actors Timothy Spall in 1957 (age 57) and Adam Baldwin in 1962 (age 52); former first daughter Chelsea Clinton in 1980 (age 34); and singer Josh Groban in 1981 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1844, the Dominican Republic was granted independence from Haiti.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler's Nazis set fire to the German Parliament building in Berlin, blamed it on communists and made that an excuse to suspend civil liberties and freedom of the press.

In 1942, opening salvos were fired in the Battle of the Java Sea, during which 13 U.S. warships were sunk by the Japanese, who lost two.

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms, was ratified.

In 1974, the first issue of People magazine was published.

In 1982, an Atlanta jury convicted Wayne Williams of killing two of 28 young blacks whose deaths over a two-year period had shaken the city. (Williams was sentenced to life in prison.)

In 1990, the Soviet Parliament approved creation of a U.S.-style presidential system that gave Mikhail Gorbachev broad powers and established direct popular elections for the office.

In 1992, Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday by closing Disneyland for an elaborate private party with her celebrity friends.

In 1994, the 17th Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillehammer, Norway. The host country had the most medals (26) and Russia the most gold medals (11).

In 1999, Nigeria's transition to civilian rule was nearly completed with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military leader, as president.

In 2004, two studies commissioned by the U.S. Roman Catholic church showed at least 4 percent of priests were involved in child sexual abuse from 1950 to 2002.

In 2007, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, identified as the target by the Taliban, escaped injury when a suicide bomber set off a device outside the U.S. Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Twenty-three people were killed in the attack.

In 2010, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, killing close to 600 people and destroying or heavily damaging nearly 500,000 homes.

In 2013, about 150,000 people gathered at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City for Pope Benedict XVI's final general audience.

A thought for the day: "Winning doesn't always mean being first. Winning means you're doing better than you've ever done before." -- Bonnie Blair

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