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UPI Almanac for Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth, 15-year-old U.S. figure skater wins Olympic gold medal ... on this date in history.

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United Press International
A camera on his Mercury spacecraft shows John Glenn during the Feb. 20, 1962, flight on which he became the first American to orbit Earth. NASA/File/UPI
A camera on his Mercury spacecraft shows John Glenn during the Feb. 20, 1962, flight on which he became the first American to orbit Earth. NASA/File/UPI | License Photo

Today is Friday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2015 with 314 to follow.

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

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include American Revolutionary War hero William Prescott in 1726; photographer Ansel Adams in 1902; Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin in 1904; actor Gale Gordon in 1906; TV emcee John Daly in 1914; fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt in 1924 (age 91); film director Robert Altman in 1925; author Richard Matheson in 1926; actor Sidney Poitier in 1927 (age 88); actor Amanda Blake in 1929; auto racer Bobby Unser in 1934 (age 81); singer Nancy Wilson in 1937 (age 78); auto racing businessman/team owner Roger Penske in 1937 (age 78); singer Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1941 (age 74); hockey Hall of Fame member Phil Esposito in 1942 (age 73); actor Sandy Duncan in 1946 (age 69); actor Peter Strauss in 1947 (age 68); actor Jennifer O'Neill in 1948 (age 67); socialite Ivana Trump in 1949 (age 66): heiress Patty Hearst Shaw in 1954 (age 61); comedian Joel Hodgson in 1960 (age 55); basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley in 1963 (age 52); actor French Stewart in 1964 (age 51); model Cindy Crawford in 1966 (age 49); actor Andrew Shue in 1967 (age 48); musician Kurt Cobain in 1967; singer Rihanna Fenty in 1988 (age 27).

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On this date in history:

In 1809, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Marbury vs. Madison decision, ruled the power of the federal government was no greater than that of any individual state.

In 1816, "The Barber of Seville" by Gioachino Rossini opened in Rome.

In 1872, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

In 1938, Anthony Eden resigned as Britain's foreign secretary to protest the "appeasement" policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany.

In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. He landed safely after three orbits in a Mercury spacecraft. (The previous year, Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first person to orbit Earth.)

In 1991, U.S. troops penetrated Iraq, capturing as many as 500 Iraqi soldiers.

In 1998, Tara Lipinski, 15, of the United States became the youngest winner of a ladies Olympic gold medal in figure skating.

In 2003, fire broke out during a rock concert at a West Warwick, R.I., nightclub, killing 100 people.

In 2006, the Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons of Muslim Prophet Muhammad and triggered widespread, angry and often deadly protests ran a full-page apology in Saudi papers.

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In 2008, a missile interceptor launched from a U.S. Navy ship knocked down a dying satellite 130 miles over the Pacific Ocean. Officials said the satellite contained 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic fuel.

In 2010, a minaret and part of the roof fell into a historic 18th-century mosque during services, killing at least 38 people and injuring 71 more in the ancient city of Meknes, Morocco.

In 2012, officials said poachers in search of ivory in northern Cameroon had slaughtered about 300 elephants for their tusks since mid-January.

In 2013, a U.S. Census Bureau report said American Indians had the highest poverty rate of any ethnic group in the country.

In 2014, the host country's Adelina Sotnikova won the gold medal in women's figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


A thought for the day: Fly-fishing author John Gierach wrote, "The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem the longer the trip should be."

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