UPI Almanac for Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

Prohibition takes effect, the Persian Gulf War begins, Africa's first elected female head of state is sworn in ... on his date in history.
By United Press International  |  Jan. 16, 2015 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2015 with 349 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include German philosopher Franz Brentano in 1838; Andre Michelin, the French industrialist who first mass-produced rubber automobile tires, in 1853; Canadian poet Robert Service in 1874; former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1901; inventor Frank Zamboni in 1901; singer Ethel Merman in 1908; baseball Hall of Fame member Jay "Dizzy" Dean in 1910; zoologist Dian Fossey in 1932; writer Susan Sontag in 1933; opera singer Marilyn Horne in 1934 (age 81); race car driver A.J. Foyt in 1935 (age 80); country singer Ronnie Milsap in 1943 (age 72); radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger in 1947 (age 68); film director John Carpenter in 1948 (age 67); choreographer, actor and director Debbie Allen in 1950 (age 65); Nigerian singer Sade Adu in 1959 (age 56); British television host James May in 1963 (age 52); British model Kate Moss in 1974 (age 41); baseball star Albert Pujols in 1980 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1581, the English Parliament outlawed Roman Catholicism.

In 1883, the U.S. Congress passed a bill creating the civil service.

In 1919, the United States went legally "dry" as prohibition of alcoholic beverages took effect under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. (The amendment was repealed in 1933.)

In 1942, screen star Carole Lombard, her mother and 20 other people were killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas. Lombard was the wife of actor Clark Gable.

In 1944, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower arrived in London to assume command of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for "peaceful competition" with Moscow. He authorized research and development on space-age weapons capable of destroying incoming nuclear missiles -- the program known as "Star Wars."

In 1991, the Persian Gulf War began with the allied bombing of Baghdad.

In 2001, President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was shot to death by one of his bodyguards, who was killed by other guards.

In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush said his re-election was a ratification of what he did in Iraq and there was no reason to hold any administration official accountable.

In 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia's president. She was the first female elected head of state in Africa.

In 2008, Republican Bobby Jindal took over as the governor of Louisiana. He was the first Indian-American elected to that office in the United States and, at 36, the nation's youngest governor.

In 2011, the death toll from floods and mudslides in Brazil reached 641.

In 2013, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced a tax amnesty program, offering an opportunity to people owing taxes to pay without penalty.

In 2014, Major League Baseball announced a "historic" expansion of instant replay to review close calls -- starting in the 2014 season.

A thought for the day: Neil Armstrong, recalling how it felt to look back at Earth from the surface of the moon: "I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."

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