UPI Almanac for Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017

On Jan. 15, 1919, 21 people were killed and scores injured when a vat holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses exploded and sent torrents of the syrup into the streets of Boston.
By United Press International  |  Jan. 15, 2017 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2017 with 350 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French playwright Moliere (born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) in 1622; signer of the Declaration of Independence Philip Livingston in 1716; outlaw Cole Younger in 1844; Swedish clergyman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nathan Soderblom in 1866; nuclear physicist Edward Teller in 1908; drummer Gene Krupa in 1909; actor Lloyd Bridges in 1913; Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1918; civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1929; actor Margaret O'Brien in 1937 (age 80); Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant in 1948; actor Andrea Martin in 1947 (age 70); actor Mario Van Peebles in 1957 (age 60); actor Chad Lowe in 1968 (age 49); pro football quarterback Drew Brees in 1979 (age 38); rapper Pitbull (born Armando Perez) in 1981 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1870, a cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in Harper's weekly with a donkey symbolizing the Democratic Party for the first time.

In 1892, Dr. James Naismith published the rules of basketball. He invented the game at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.

In 1919, 21 people were killed and scores injured when a vat holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses exploded and sent torrents of the syrup into the streets of Boston. The event is known as the Boston Molasses Disaster.

In 1922, the Irish Free State was formed.

In 1943, the Pentagon, the world's largest building of its kind, was completed on the Virginia side of the Potomac River just outside of Washington.

In 1967, the first Super Bowl, pitting the NFL and AFL champions, was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. Forty-nine years to the day, the NFL Network will be the first to ever replay this historic game in a full recreation on television.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon called a halt to U.S. military offensives in Vietnam.

In 1986, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a sweeping arms-control plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons by the year 2000 and rid "mankind of the fear of nuclear catastrophe."

In 1993, four-time Oscar-winning songwriter Sammy Cahn, who wrote such hits as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Three Coins in the Fountain," died of heart failure at age 79.

In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat reached an agreement on the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank city of Hebron.

In a 2006 runoff, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet as its first female president.

In 2008, meat and milk from cloned animals were ruled safe for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after years of debate.

In 2009, all 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 escaped serious injury when pilot Chesley Sullenberger gently landed his disabled aircraft in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. (The landing became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson.")

In 2011, voters in southern Sudan overwhelmingly approved a referendum to secede from Sudan and become an independent African nation.

In 2012, a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman targeted Shiite pilgrims near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, killing at least 53 people and wounding 137.

In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved what supporters said would be the nation's toughest gun-control law. "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense," Cuomo said before signing the measure.

In 2014, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said half of war-torn Syria's 9.3 million people "urgently need humanitarian aid."

In 2015, Elon Musk announced that he would be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their transportation pods. It was initially claimed that the track would be built in Texas, though it appears now that it will be built next to SpaceX's Hawthorne facility.

A thought for the day: "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe, who played in five decades in the NHL, said: "You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time."

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