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Butch Cassidy and the

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       TODAY'S ALMANAC- Wednesday Dec 20, 2006
    "The History, Days and Events that Shape Your Life" 

        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

     Do you think the US spied on Princess Diana?

Click here:   
Question of the Week

      *------------ Thought of the Day ---------------*
        Bertrand Russell said, "To conquer fear is 
        the beginning of wisdom."


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 20, the 354th day of 2006 with 11 
to follow. The moon is new. The morning stars are Mercury, 
Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are 
Venus, Uranus and Neptune.

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius are:

author and decorator Elsie de Wolfe (Lady Mendl) in 1865; 

industrialist Harvey Firestone in 1868; 

philosopher Susanne K. Langer in 1895; 

actress Irene Dunne in 1898; 

nuclear physicist Robert Van de Graaff in 1901; 

movie director George Roy Hill ("Butch Cassidy and the 
Sundance Kid," "The Sting") in 1921; 

actor John Hillerman in 1932 (age 74); 

psychic Uri Geller in 1946 (age 60); 

and actress Jenny Agutter in 1952 (age 54).

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On this date in history:

In 1803, the United States formally took over territory 
acquired from France in the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1812, Sacagawea, the young Indian woman who guided the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, died.
In 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman completed his "march 
to the sea" across the South and arrived in Savannah, Ga.
In 1946 the first Indochina war began with Vietnamese troops 
under Ho Chi Minh clashing with the French at Hanoi.
In 1956, the Montgomery, Ala., public bus boycott officially 
ended but not until it had given a major boost to the civil 
rights struggle in the South. The boycott had been called 
in reaction to the Dec. 1, 1955, arrest of Rosa Parks, an 
African-American woman, for refusing to give up her bus 
seat to a white man.
In 1987, nearly 1,600 people died in the Philippines when 
a passenger ferry was struck by an oil tanker and sank. 
It was the century's worst peacetime maritime disaster.
In 1989, the United States invaded Panama to oust Manuel 
Noriega and install the duly elected civilian government. 
Twenty-three U.S. troops were killed.
In 1990, Eduard Shevardnadze abruptly resigned as Soviet 
foreign minister, warning against a dictatorship of 
In 1991, Philippines prosecutors filed nine counts of 
graft against former first lady Imelda Marcos, charging 
she used bogus front companies to bilk millions of 
dollars from the nation.
In 1993, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's governing
Socialist Party claimed victory in parliamentary elections 
held the day before.
In 1994, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced 
that the warring parties in Bosnia had agreed to a 
4-month cease-fire starting Dec. 23.
In 1995, 160 people were killed when an American 
Airlines 757 crashed into a mountain shortly before it 
was scheduled to land in Cali, Colombia.
Also in 1995, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Queen 
Elizabeth II had sent letters to her son, Prince Charles, 
and his estranged wife, Princess Diana, urging them to 
seek a divorce as quickly as possible.
Further in 1995, NATO assumed peacekeeping duties in 
Bosnia from the United Nations.
In 1996, guerrillas in Peru took an estimated 380 
hostages at the Japanese ambassador's residence.
In 1998, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared that the 
4-night U.S.-British bombing campaign of his country was 
a victory for Iraq over the "enemies of God and humanity."
Also in 1998, a Houston woman gave birth to seven more 
babies after delivering the first infant 12 days earlier. 
They were the only known set of octuplets to be born 
alive in the United States. The smallest baby died a 
week later.
In 1999, Macau reverted to Chinese rule.
In 2001, Argentine President Fernando de la Rua 
resigned amid mass protest demonstrations but chaos 
continued in his troubled country.
In 2002, U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., resigned as 
Senate majority leader amid an intense furor growing 
from remarks that seemed to praise the 1948 
segregationist presidential candidacy of Sen. Strom 
Thurmond, R-S.C.
In 2003, a New York Times/CBS News poll says most 
Americans would support a constitutional amendment 
banning same-sex marriages.
In 2004, a published report said experts were 
estimating that Medicare will exhaust its hospital-care 
trust fund by 2019.
Also in 2004, the United Nations said sub-Saharan 
Africa, ravaged this year by drought, civil strife and 
swarms of crop-devouring locusts, faced a worsening
 food crisis.
In 2005, a 3-day transit strike idled New York City's 
6,300 subway cars and 4,600 buses and hampered the 7 
million people who ride on the system every week day.
Also in 2005, a judge in Harrisburg, Pa., ruled the 
concept of "intelligent design" cannot be taught in 
Pennsylvania public high school science classes.

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