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       TODAY'S ALMANAC- Monday Dec 18, 2006
    "The History, Days and Events that Shape Your Life" 

        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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Question of the Week

      *------------ Thought of the Day ---------------*
       Anatole France said, "To know is nothing at all; 
       to imagine is everything."


Today is Monday, Dec. 18, the 352nd day of 2006 with 13 to 
go. The moon is waning. 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:

Joseph Grimaldi, known as the "greatest clown in history," 
in 1778; 

English physicist Joseph Thompson, discoverer of the 
electron, in 1856; 

British short story writer Saki (H.H. Munro) in 1870; 

Swiss modernist painter Paul Klee in 1879; 

baseball star Tyrus "Ty" Cobb in 1886; 

film director George Stevens ("Shane," "A Place in the 
Sun," "Giant") in 1904; 

actress Betty Grable in 1916; 

West German statesman Willy Brandt in 1913; 

actor Ossie Davis in 1917; 

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards in 1943 (age 63); 

film director Steven Spielberg ("Jaws,""E.T. the 
Extra-Terrestrial," "Schindler's List") in 1946 (age 60); 

movie critic/historian Leonard Maltin in 1950 (age 56); 

actors Ray Liotta in 1955 (age 51), 

Brad Pitt in 1963 (age 43) 

Katie Holmes in 1978 (age 28); 

singer Christina Aguilera in 1980 (age 26).

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On this date in history:

In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished 
slavery in the United States.
In 1912, after three years of digging in the Piltdown 
gravel pit in Sussex, England, amateur archaeologist Charles 
Dawson announced the discovery of two skulls that appeared 
to belong to a primitive hominid and ancestor of man. The 
find turned out to be a hoax.
In 1915, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, a widower for one 
year, married the widow Edith Bolling Galt.
In 1972, the United States resumed heavy bombing and mining 
operations against North Vietnam after the communists 
refused to agree to end the war.
In 1985, the U.S. Congress approved the biggest overhaul 
of farm legislation since the Depression, trimming price 
In 1989, a pipe bomb killed Savannah, Ga., City Councilman 
Robert Robinson, hours after a bomb was discovered at the 
Atlanta federal courthouse. A racial motive was cited in 
a rash of bomb incidents.
Also in 1989, the Romanian government sealed the borders 
amid reports of a deadly crackdown on dissidents.
In 1990, Moldavia became the sixth Soviet republic to 
refuse to participate in a 10-day meeting in a mounting 
affront to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1991, General Motors announced it would close 21 plants 
and eliminate 74,000 jobs in the next four years to offset 
record losses.
In 1997, South Koreans elected longtime leftist opposition 
leader Kim Dae-jong president, marking the first time in 
the nation's history that a member of the opposition had 
defeated a candidate of the New Korea Party and its 
Also in 1997, the 6-mile-long Tokyo Bay tunnel connecting 
the cities of Kawasaki and Kisarazu opened. The project 
took 8 1/2 years to complete and cost $17 billion.
In 2002, insurance giant Conseco filed for Chapter 11 
bankruptcy protection, third-largest such action in U.S. 
history behind only Enron and Worldcom.
In 2003, teenager Lee Malvo was convicted of murder in 
the Washington area sniper attacks. His adult companion, 
John Muhammad, was convicted earlier by a jury that 
recommended the death penalty.
In 2004, the United States officially forgave all of the 
$4.1 billion owed the government by Iraq and urged other 
creditors to do the same.
Also in 2004, Britain's Prince Charles was reported 
leading efforts to end the death penalty imposed in some 
cases under Islamic law for Muslims who convert to 
other religions.
In 2005, U.S. President George Bush's confirmation of 
reports he had authorized government wiretaps without 
court approval of U.S. citizens with suspected terrorist 
ties drew immediate negative response from Congress.
Also in 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 77, 
was hospitalized after suffering what was described as 
a mild stroke.
And, in 2005, Bolivia elected Eso Morales as its first 
Indian president.

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