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home : columns : world almanac December 11, 2018

4/12/2018 7:58:00 AM
World Almanac

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1861, Confederate forces fired on Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, in the first engagement of the Civil War.

In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died at his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia.

In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to travel in space and the first to orbit the Earth.

In 1981, the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Henry Clay (1777-1852), politician/statesman; Lily Pons (1898-1976), opera singer/actress; Beverly Cleary (1916- ), author; Herbie Hancock (1940- ), musician; Ed O'Neill (1946- ), actor; Tom Clancy (1947-2013), author; David Letterman (1947- ), TV personality; Scott Turow (1949- ), author; Jon Krakauer (1954- ), author; Andy Garcia (1956- ), actor; Vince Gill (1957- ), singer-songwriter; Claire Danes (1979- ), actress; Saoirse Ronan (1994- ), actress.

TODAY'S FACT: At the time of his death, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices had been appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1981, the New York Giants selected University of North Carolina linebacker Lawrence Taylor in the first round of the NFL draft.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?" -- Scott Turow, "Ordinary Heroes"

TODAY'S NUMBER: 108 -- length (in minutes) of the first orbital human spaceflight, by Yuri Gagarin aboard the Vostok 3KA spacecraft on this day in 1961.

TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (April 8) and new moon (April 15).

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