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Sunday, February 29, 2004


Today is Sunday, Feb. 29th.

The 60th day of 2004.

There are 306 days left in the year.

This is Leap Day.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 29, 1940, "Gone with the Wind" won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939. Victor Fleming was named best director, Vivien Leigh best actress, and Hattie McDaniel best supporting actress, the first black performer to receive an Oscar. Best actor went to Robert Donat for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips."


On this date:

In 1504, Christopher Columbus, stranded in Jamaica during his fourth voyage to the West, used a correctly predicted lunar eclipse to frighten hostile natives into providing food for his crew.

In 1692, The Salem witch trials begin when Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba are accused of using witchcraft.

In 1792, composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini was born in Pesaro, Italy.

In 1860, Herman Hollerith invents the first electric tabulating machine

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a seven-member commission to facilitate completion of the Panama Canal.

In 1904, bandleader Jimmy Dorsey was born in Shenandoah, Pa.

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. The new act rewards farmers for growing soil-enhancing crops.

In 1952, In Times Square, NYC, four electronic signs are installed at 44th Street and Broadway to tell pedestrians when to “walk.”

In 1956, President Eisenhower announced he would seek a second term of office.

In 1960, The first Playboy Club, featuring bunnies, opens in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1960, An earthquake hits Agadir, Morocco, killing 12,000 people. It is the worst earthquake recorded in Africa to date.

In 1968, the discovery of the first "pulsar," a star which emits regular radio waves, was announced by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at Cambridge, England.

In 1968, President Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission) warned that racism was causing America to move "toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."

In 1968, at the Grammy Awards, the Fifth Dimension's "Up, Up and Away" won record of the year for 1967, while album of the year honors went to the Beatles for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

In 1972, Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player to sign a deal worth $200,00 a year.

In 1980, former Israeli foreign minister Yigal Allon, who had played an important role in the Jewish state's fight for independence, died at age 61.

In 1984, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced he was stepping down after more than 15 years in power.

Twelve years ago (1992):

Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina began casting ballots in an independence referendum; Serbs boycotted the vote, calling it illegal.

Eight years ago (1996):

About 30 television and entertainment industry executives met with President Clinton at the White House, where they promised to devise a TV ratings system.

Daniel Green was convicted in Lumberton, N.C., of murdering James R. Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan, during a 1993 roadside holdup. (Green was sentenced to life in prison.)

A Peruvian commercial jetliner crashed in the Andes, killing all 123 people on board.

Four years ago (2000):

George W. Bush won Republican presidential primaries in Virginia, Washington state and North Dakota, defeating John McCain; Vice President Al Gore crushed fellow Democrat Bill Bradley in Washington state.

Six-year-old Kayla Rolland was fatally shot by a fellow first-grader at Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Mich.

Puff Daddy plead not guilty to charges that he had attempted to bribe a professional driver to take responsibility for a 9mm handgun that had been found in a vehicle with Puff Daddy following a shooting in 1999.

The city of Autlan de Navarro, Mexico announced plans to build a public monument to tribute Carlos Santana.

Sparky Anderson was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame along with Turkey Stearnes of the Negro leagues and 19th-century second baseman Bid McPhee.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Michele Morgan is 84.

Actor Arthur Franz is 84.

Actor James Mitchell is 84.

Actor Joss Ackland is 76.

Actor Alex Rocco is 68.

Former space shuttle astronaut Jack Lousma is 68.

Actor Dennis Farina is 60.

Actress Phyllis Frelich is 60.

Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. is 32.

Rapper Ja Rule is 28.


Thought for Today:

"There are many fine things which you mean to do someday, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is yours is the present." -

- Grenville Kleiser, American author (1868-1953).


Saturday, February 28, 2004


Today is Saturday, Feb. 28th.

The 59th day of 2004.

There are 307 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 28, 1953, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains the human genes.


On this date:

In 1784, The English evangelist John Wesley signs a deed of declaration as the charter of Wesleyan Methodism and ordains two “Presbyters” for the American Mission.

In 1827, the first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated.

In 1844, a 12-inch gun aboard the USS Princeton exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.

In 1849, the ship California arrived at San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers.

In 1854, The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI.

In 1861, the Territory of Colorado was organized.

In 1922, After 40 years of occupation, Great Britain grants independence to Egypt, but retains the Suez Canal.

In 1933, Francis Perkins is appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor, becoming the first female cabinet member in American history.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler persuades president Paul von Hindenburg to issue an emergency order that suppresses civil liberties and freedom of the press and allows the Nazis to arrest thousands of their opponents.

In 1940, The first televised basketball game is aired from Madison Square Garden featuring Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1951, the Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., issued a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the United States.

In 1953, In Tehran, Iran, supporters of the Shah drove Mohammed Mossadegh out of his home. Mobs were rioting outside.

In 1960, The United States wins the Olympic hockey gold medal by defeating Czechoslovakia, 9-4.

In 1962, TheJohn Glenn for President Club was formed by a group of Las Vegas republicans.

In 1972, U.S. President Nixon ended a visit to China that had begun on February 21st.

In 1974, the United States and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.

In 1975, more than 40 people were killed in London's Underground when a subway train smashed into the end of a tunnel.

In 1979, Mr. Ed, the talking horse, died.

In 1983, "M*A*S*H" became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.

In 1984, Michael Jackson's album Thriller wins an unprecedented eight Grammy Awards.

In 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot to death in central Stockholm.

In 1989, In Lebanon, Israeli bombs killed three children. The bombs were intended for terrorist bases.

In 1991, U.S. President H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein pledged to honor future United Nations peace terms.

In 1993, a gun battle erupted at a compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians; four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.

In 1996, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to divorce.

In 2001, The Northwest region of the U.S., including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

In 2002, The Israeli military attacked two West Bank refugee camps. The attacks were an attempt to break strongholds of Palestinian militants. It was Israels largest military operation since the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Ten years ago (1994):

Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets downed four Serb warplanes that U.N. officials said had bombed an arms plant run by Bosnia's Muslim-led government.

Five years ago (1999):

Guerrillas detonated two bombs beside a military convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a brigadier general and three other Israelis; Israel retaliated with air raids on suspected guerrilla hideouts.

One year ago (2003):

NASA released video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven astronauts; in the footage, four of the crew members can be seen doing routine chores and admiring the view outside the cockpit.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of the words "under God."

The Food and Drug Administration announced that every bottle of ephedra would soon bear stern warnings that the popular herb could cause heart attacks or strokes, even kill.

It was reported that Iraq would began destroying its Al Samoud 2 missiles the next day. U.N. weapons inspectors deemed that the missiles violated U.N. limits on ranges.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Charles Durning is 81.

Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, is 78.

Actor Gavin MacLeod is 73.

Actor Don Francks is 72.

Actor-director-dancer Tommy Tune is 65.

Auto racer Mario Andretti is 64.

Singer Joe South is 64.

Actor Frank Bonner is 62.

Actress Kelly Bishop is 60.

Football player Bubba Smith is 59.

Actress Stephanie Beacham is 57.

Actress Mercedes Ruehl is 56.

Actress Bernadette Peters is 56.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is 49.

Basketball player Adrian Dantley is 48.

Actor John Turturro is 47.

Rock singer Cindy Wilson is 47.

Actress Rae Dawn Chong is 43.

Actor Robert Sean Leonard is 35.

Rock singer Pat Monahan (Train) is 35.

Actress Maxine Bahns is 33.

Singer FeFe Dobson is 19.

Actor Bobb'e J. Thompson ("The Tracy Morgan Show") is 8.


Thought for Today:

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." -

- Voltaire, French author-philosopher (1694-1778 ).


Friday, February 27, 2004



Today is Friday, Feb. 27th.

The 58th day of 2004.

There are 308 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 27, 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, caught fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.


On this date:

In 1594, Henry IV is crowned king of France in Chartres.

In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

In 1807, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine.

In 1827, The first open celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans begins.

In 1883, Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine.

In 1902, Pulitzer Prize winning (Grapes of Wrath) American author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, Calif.

In 1922, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.

In 1939, the Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.

In 1947, In Baltimore, the first closed-circuit broadcast of a surgical operation takes place at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Observers in four classrooms are able to see the procedure simultaneously.

In 1949, Chaim Weizmann became the first Israeli president.

In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, 3-2, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The United States went on to win the gold medal.)

In 1972, President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai issued the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon's historic visit to China.

In 1973, Sioux Native Americans seize and hold Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, demanding a United States Senate investigation of Native American problems.

In 1974, The first issue of People magazine, a weekly publication featuring entertainment and social-interest news, hits the newsstands.

In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)

In 1982, Wayne B. Williams was found guilty of murdering two of the 28 young blacks whose bodies were found in the Atlanta area over a 22-month period.

In 1990, The Exxon Corporation is indicted on five criminal charges relating to the 1989 Alaskan oil spill.

In 1991, Kuwait was liberated by U.S. troops. The U.S. had began a ground assault to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait on February 24.

In 1997, divorce became legal in Ireland.

In 1998, Britain's House of Lords agreed to give a monarch's first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son. This was the end to 1,000 years of male preference.

In 2002, In Boston, twenty people working at Logan International Airport were charged with lying to get their jobs or security badges.

Ten years ago (1994):

The Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillehammer, Norway.

Five years ago:

The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers. (Lyons, who served nearly five years in prison, was released last December.)

Nigerians elected Olusegun Obasanjo to be president as their country marked the final phase of its return to democracy.

Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new hot-air balloon endurance record when they stayed aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes. The two were in the process of trying to circumnavigate the Earth.

One year ago (2003):

A design by architect Daniel Libeskind is selected to be built on the former site of the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center.

The Bush administration lowered the national terror alert from orange to yellow.

Iraq agreed in principle to destroy its Al Samoud Two missiles, two days before a U.N. deadline.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic was sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison.

Children's television host Fred Rogers died in Pittsburgh at age 74.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Joanne Woodward is 74.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 72.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 70.

Actress Barbara Babcock (Faye Furillo, "Hill Street Blues") is 67.

Actor Howard Hesseman (Dr. Johnny Fever, "WKRP") is 64.

Actress Debra Monk is 55.

Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 50.

Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 44.

Basketball player James Worthy is 43.

Actor Adam Baldwin is 42.

Actor Grant Show is 42.

Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 39.

Actor Donal Logue is 38.

Rhythm and blues singer Chilli (TLC) is 33.

Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 32.

Rhythm and blues singer Roderick Clark is 31.

Chelsea Clinton is 24.

Rhythm and blues singer Bobby Wilson (Mista) is 24.

Singer Josh Groban is 23.


Thought for Today:

"All that is human must be retrograde if it does not advance." -

— Edward Gibbon, English historian (1737-1794).


Thursday, February 26, 2004

Today is Thursday, Feb. 26th.

The 57th day of 2004.

There are 309 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 26, 1993, a bomb built by a group of Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.


On this date:

In 1766, Empress Catherine II (the Great) grants freedom of worship in Russia.

In 1802, French poet, novelist, and playwright Victor Hugo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) was born in Besançon, France. He died in 1885

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France.

In 1829, Levi Strauss, creator of blue jeans was born.

In 1846, American guide, scout, and showman William Frederick (Buffalo Bill) Cody was born in Scott County, Iowa. He died in 1917. The town of Cody, Wyoming, is named after him.

In 1848, the Second French Republic was proclaimed.

In 1848, Karl Marx and Friederich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto in London.

In 1863, U.S. President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act.

In 1907, The U.S. Congress raised their own pay to $7500.

In 1916, Comedian and actor Herbert John ("Jackie") Gleason was born in Brooklyn, New York. He ided in 1987.

In 1919, Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

In 1929, President Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park.

In 1930, New York City installed traffic lights.

In 1932, Country music singer Johnny Cash (known for the sincerity of his singing and for his deep bass voice) was born in Kingsland, Arkansas. He died in 2003.

In 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.

In 1945, In the U.S., a nationwide midnight curfew went into effect.

In 1945, During World War II, Syria declared war on Germany and Japan.

In 1946, Captain James Gallagher and 14 crew members take off aboard Lucky Lady II as they begin what will become the first non-stop flight around the globe. The plane will be refueled four times while in the air before landing back in the U.S. on March 2.

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.

In 1962, after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, "Exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run."

In 1979, a total solar eclipse cast a moving shadow 175 miles wide from Oregon to North Dakota before moving into Canada.

In 1985, Tina Turner wins two Grammy Awards for her hit song "What's Love Got to Do With It?"

In 1987, the Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.

In 1990, The 100th episode of "MacGyver" aired.

In 1991, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that Iraqi troops were being withdrawn from Kuwait.

In 1998, A federal jury in Armarillo, Texas, rules in favor of Oprah Winfrey in a lawsuit filed against her by Texas cattlemen. The lawsuit stems from a beef comment the popular talk show host made concerning mad cow disease.

In 1998, In Oregon, a health panel rules that taxpayers must help to pay for doctor-assisted suicides.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Mount Sinai in Egypt, revered as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

In 2002, In Rome, Italy, a bomb exploded near the Interior Ministry. No injuries were reported.

In 2002, U.S. officials confirmed that small groups of U.S. diplomats and intelligence analysts had been infiltrating northern Iraq periodically to confer with Kurds and other opponents of Saddam Hussein's government.

Ten years ago (1994):

A jury in San Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they'd ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of manslaughter.

Five years ago (1999):

President Clinton, outlining foreign policy goals for the final two years of his administration, urged continued American engagement in the quest for peace and freedom abroad during a news conference in San Francisco.

One year ago (2003):

President Bush, offering new justification for war in Iraq, told a think tank that "ending this direct and growing threat" from Saddam Hussein would pave the way for peace in the Middle East and encourage democracy throughout the Arab world.

In a victory for abortion foes, the Supreme Court ruled that federal racketeering and extortion laws had been wrongly used to try to stop blockades, harassment and violent protests outside clinics.

A fire at the Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Conn., killed 16 nursing home patients; a patient charged with setting the blaze was later ruled incompetent to stand trial.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Mason Adams is 85.

Actor Tony Randall is 84.

Actress Betty Hutton is 83.

Singer Fats Domino is 76.

Political columnist Robert Novak is 73.

Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 61.

Actor-director Bill Duke is 61.

Singer Mitch Ryder is 59.

Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 54.

Singer Michael Bolton is 51.

Actor Greg Germann is 46.

Bandleader John McDaniel is 43.

Actress Jennifer Grant is 38.

Singer Erykah Badu is 33.

Rhythm and blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 32.

Country singer Rodney Hayden is 24.


Thought for Today:

"The wise make proverbs and fools repeat them." -

- Isaac D'Israeli, English author (1766-1848 ).


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Today is Wednesday, February. 25th.

The 56th day of 2004.

There are 310 days left in the year.

Today Is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 25, 1793, the department heads of the U.S. government met with President Washington at his home for the first Cabinet meeting on record.


On this date:

In 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated England's Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1601, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is executed (beheaded) for high treason after his revolt against Queen Elizabeth I of England's ministers.

In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.

In 1888, John Foster Dulles was born in Washington, DC. Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959, he is remembered as an uncompromising foe of communism. He resigned from office a few weeks before his death, on May 24, 1959.

In 1890, Vlacheslav Mikhaylovich Skryabin was born in Kurkaka, Russia. He was the foreign minister of the Soviet Union who took the revolutionary name Molotov. Molotov had advocated the use of throwing bottles filled with flamable liquid stuffed with a burning rag, known as a "Molotov cocktail," at the enemy.

In 1901, United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

In 1917, Anthony Burgess, British novelist and critic, best known for his controversial novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), was born in Manchester, United Kingdom. He died in 1993.

In 1919, Oregon became the first state to place a tax on gasoline. The tax was 1 cent per gallon.

In 1925, A remote part of southeastern Alaska that is only accessible by boat or plane is designated as the Glacier Bay National Monument. It will become a National Park and Preserve on December 2, 1980

In 1928, The Federal Radio Commission (forerunner to the Federal Communications Commission) issued the first U.S. television license to Charles Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, DC.

In 1933, The first aircraft carrier, "Ranger", was launched.

In 1940, The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens played in the first hockey game to be televised in the U.S. The game was aired on W2WBS in New York with one camera in a fixed position.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. troops reoccupied the Kasserine Pass.

In 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

In 1950, "Your Show of Shows" debuted on NBC.

In 1956, Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, criticized the late Josef Stalin in a speech before a Communist Party congress in Moscow.

In 1961, Henry Kissinger is named National Security Adviser by President John F. Kennedy.

In 1964, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.

In 1972, Germany gave a $5 million ransom to Arab terrorists who had hijacked a jumbo jet.

In 1973, the Stephen Sondheim musical "A Little Night Music" opened at Broadway's Shubert Theater.

In 1982, The final new show of "The Lawrence Welk Show" aired, ending an amazing 27-year run on television.

In 1986, President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

In 1993, The University of Vermont women's basketball team extends its winning streak to 50 straight victories by beating Northeastern, 50-40. This breaks the women's Division I college basketball record for consecutive regular-season wins.

In 1998, Bob Dylan wins three awards, including album of the year for Time Out of Mind, and his son Jakob wins two awards at the 40th annual Grammy Awards in New York City.

In 2000, In Albany, NY, a jury acquitted four New York City police officers of second-degree murder and lesser charges in the February 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo.

Ten years ago (1994):

American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshippers.

At the Winter Olympics in Norway, Oksana Baiul of Ukraine won the gold medal in ladies' figure skating while Nancy Kerrigan won the silver and Chen Lu of China the bronze; Tonya Harding came in 8th.

Five years ago (1999):

A jury in Jasper, Texas, sentenced white supremacist John William King to death for chaining James Byrd Jr., a black man, to a pickup truck and dragging him to pieces.

Israel's Supreme Court blocked the extradition of American teenager Samuel Sheinbein to the United States to face charges stemming from a grisly slaying in Maryland.

In Moscow, China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Russia's President Boris Yeltsin discussed trade and other issues.

One year ago (2003):

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Iraq was showing new signs of real cooperation, but President Bush was dismissive, predicting Saddam Hussein would try to "fool the world one more time."

Roh Moo-hyun became South Korea's new president.


Today's Birthdays:

Country singer Ralph Stanley is 77.

Producer-writer Larry Gelbart is 76.

Musician Tommy Newsom is 75.

Actor Tom Courtenay is 67.

CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 67.

Actress Diane Baker is 66.

Talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael is 61.

Actress Karen Grassle is 60.

Movie director Neil Jordan is 54.

Rock singer-musician Mike Peters (The Alarm) is 45.

Actress Veronica Webb is 39.

Actor Alexis Denisof is 38.

Actress Tea Leoni is 38.

Actress Lesley Boone ("Ed") is 36.

Actor Sean Astin is 33.

Rhythm and blues singer Justin Jeffre (98 Degrees) is 31.

Rock musician Richard Liles is 31.

Actor Anson Mount is 31.

Actress Rashida Jones is 28.

Actor Justin Berfield ("Malcolm in the Middle") is 18.

Actors Oliver and James Phelps ("Harry Potter" movies) are 18.


Thought for Today:

"Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom." -

- Herbert Spencer, British philosopher (1820-1903).
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 24th.

The 55th day of 2004.

There are 311 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 24, 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.


On this date:

In 1209, Saint Francis of Assisi's vocation, to live in complete poverty and to preach, is revealed to him.

In 1786, Wilhelm Grimm (The Brothers Grimm, Grimm's Fairy Tales) was born. He died December 16, 1859.

In 1803, Marbury v. Madison establishes the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States to decide whether acts of Congress are legitimate under the U.S. Constitution and ruled itself the final interpreter of constitutional issues.

In 1821, Mexico declared its independence from Spain.

In 1863, Arizona was organized as a territory.

In 1868, The first parade to use floats took place in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.

In 1885, Admiral Chester William Nimitz was born. He died in 1966.

In 1900, New York City Mayor Van Wyck signed the contract to begin work on New York's first rapid transit tunnel. The tunnel would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ground-breaking ceremony was on March 24, 1900.

In 1903, the United States signed an agreement acquiring a naval station at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

In 1920, a fledgling German political party held its first meeting of importance in Munich; it became known as the Nazi Party, and its chief spokesman was Adolf Hitler.

In 1924, Johnny ‘Tarzan’ Weissmuller broke the world’s record in the 100-meter swimming event. He did it in 57 2/5 seconds.

In 1942, the Voice of America (VOA) went on the air for the first time.

In 1942, In order to make more weapons ready for war production, deliveries of all 12-gauge shotguns for sporting use are shut down by the U.S. government.

In 1945, American soldiers liberated the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese control during World War II.

In 1945, During World War II, Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed after reading a decree that declared war on the Axis powers.

In 1946, Juan Peron was elected president of Argentina.

In 1949, Egypt announced that their agreement to a cease fire was not an accectance of the state of Israel.

In 1955 Turkey and Iraq signed the military alliance known as the Baghdad Pact.

In 1980, the U.S. hockey team defeated Finland, 4-2, to clinch the gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 1981, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

In 1983, a congressional commission released a report condemning the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a "grave injustice."

In 1987, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hits his first three-point shot. Up to this date, he has scored 36,000 points, but only scoring two points at a time.

In 1989, A United Airlines 747 jet rips open in flight killing 9 people. The flight was from Honolulu to New Zealand.

In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for his novel "The Satanic Verses". A bounty of one to three-million-dollars was also put on Rushidie's head.

In 1989, a state funeral was held in Japan for Emperor Hirohito, who had died the month before at age 87.

In 1991, The United States begins their ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq.

In 1997, The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective "morning-after" pills for preventing pregnancy.

Ten years ago (1994):

Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders labeled smoking an "adolescent addiction," and accused the tobacco industry of trying to convince teenagers that cigarettes will make them sexy and successful.

Entertainer Dinah Shore died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 76.

Five years ago (1999):

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to give the nation's military the biggest benefits increase since the early 1980s.

Lauryn Hill won a record five Grammys, including album of the year and best new artist, on the strength of her solo debut album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

One year ago (2003):

Seeking U.N. approval for war against Iraq, the United States, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the Security Council declaring that Saddam Hussein had missed "the final opportunity" to disarm peacefully and indicating that he had to face the consequences.

A powerful earthquake in China's western region of Xinjiang killed at least 268 people and injured more than 1,000.

CMT featured an entire day of Shania Twain programming.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Abe Vigoda is 83.

Actor Steven Hill is 82.

Actor-singer Dominic Chianese ("The Sopranos") is 73.

Movie composer Michel Legrand is 72.

Actor John Vernon is 72.

Opera singer Renata Scotto is 69.

Actor James Farentino is 66.

Actor Barry Bostwick is 59.

Actor Edward James Olmos is 57.

Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 57.

Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 53.

Actress Helen Shaver is 53.

Apple co-founder Steven Jobs is 49.

News anchor Paula Zahn is 48.

Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 46.

Singer Michelle Shocked is 42.

Movie director Todd Field is 40.

Actor Billy Zane is 38.

Rhythm and blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 21.


Thought for Today:

"Nothing is more difficult for Americans to understand than the possibility of tragedy." -

- Henry A. Kissinger, former U-S Secretary of State (1923- ).

Monday, February 23, 2004

Today is Monday, Feb. 23rd.

The 54th day of 2004.

There are 312 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 23, 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised the American flag.


On this date:

In 1792, The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

In 1822, Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.

In 1836, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna begins his military siege of the Alamo in San Antonio.

In 1847, 5,000 U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican Gen. Santa Anna, commanding 15,000 troops, at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.

In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died of a stroke at age 80.

In 1861, President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, an assassination plot having been foiled in Baltimore.

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

In 1896, The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

In 1904, The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

In 1905, The Rotary Club is founded in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1915, Nevada began enforcing convenient divorce law.

In 1924, The twenty-eighth president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died.

In 1934, Casey Stengel, who had previously been the team's coach, becomes the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In 1940, The Walt Disney animated motion picture "Pinocchio", about a wooden puppet who longs to become human, is released.

In 1942, the first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery in Ellwood (just west of Santa Barbara), California. No one is hurt and the damage caused by the 20-minute attack is approximately $500.

In 1945, During World War II, Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan.

In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

In 1966, The Bitar government in Syria was ended with a military coup.

In 1968, Wilt Chamberlain, of the Philadelphia 76ers, became the first pro basketball player to score 25,000 career points.

In 1980, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran's new parliament would have to decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

In 1981, an attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (However, the attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)

In 1987, Astronomer Ian Shelton spots an exploding star in the sky - the first supernova visible with the naked eye since 1604.

In 1991, During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.

In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly." (Dolly, however, was put down Feb. 14, 2003, after a short life marred by premature aging and disease.)

Ten years ago (1994):

The military chiefs of Bosnia's Muslim-led government and their second-strongest foes, Bosnia's Croats, signed a truce.

Russia's new parliament took a swipe at President Boris Yeltsin by granting amnesty to leaders of the 1991 Soviet coup and the hard-liners who'd fought him in 1993.

Nancy Kerrigan led the women's figure skating short program at the Winter Olympics in Norway, while Tonya Harding placed 10th.

Five years ago (1999):

A jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted white supremacist John William King of murder in the gruesome dragging death of a black man, James Byrd Jr.; King was sentenced to death two days later.

Serbs agreed in principle to give limited self-rule to majority ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, thereby avoiding for the time being threatened NATO air strikes, but the two sides failed to conclude a deal for ending their yearlong conflict during talks in Rambouillet, France.

In Ankara, Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan was charged with treason. The prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for the Kurdish rebel leader.

The first of two avalanches that claimed 38 lives over two days struck in Austria.


One year ago (2003):

In West Warwick, R.I., relatives of the victims of a deadly nightclub fire were allowed to walk up to the charred rubble to pray and say goodbye.

Norah Jones won five Grammys, including album and record of the year, at the Grammy Awards in New York.


Today's Birthdays:

Songwriter Bob Willis is 70.

Actor Peter Fonda is 64.

Author John Sandford is 60.

Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 60.

Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 58.

Actress Patricia Richardson is 53.

Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 52.

Singer Howard Jones is 49.

Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 42.

Country singer Dusty Drake is 40.

Actress Kristin Davis is 39.

Tennis player Helena Sukova is 39.

Actor Marc Price is 36.

Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 33.

Country singer Steve Holy is 32.

Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 31.

Actress Dakota Fanning is 10.


Thought for Today:

"Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money." -

- Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1892-1954).

Friday, February 06, 2004

My step-daughter gave birth to her second son on Monday (02-02-2004). 6 lbs. 13 oz. Evan Israel. Welcome to the new world Evan. <.gif=BIG smile>