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Five years ago: President George W. Bush, in his last State of the Union address, urged passage of an economic stimulus package and asked Americans to remain patient with the long, grinding war in Iraq. In a daring ambush, Iraqi insurgents blasted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb and showered survivors with gunfire from a mosque in Mosul; five American soldiers were killed in the explosion. A U.S. missile attack in Pakistan killed veteran al-Qaida leader Abu Laith al-Libi (ah-BOO' LAYTH ahl-LIH'-bee). Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for the White House.
One year ago: The Arab League halted its observer mission in Syria because of escalating violence. Victoria Azarenka routed three-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 to win the Australian Open. Ashley Wagner won her first U.S. Figure Skating title at the championship in San Jose, Calif.
Today's Birthdays: Actor-dancer John Ronald Dennis is 88. Musician-composer Acker Bilk is 84. Actor Nicholas Pryor is 78. Actor Alan Alda is 77. Actress Susan Howard is 71. Actress Marthe (cq) Keller is 68. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is 66. Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 63. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren is 59. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE') is 58. Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 56. Movie director Frank Darabont is 54. Rock musician Dave Sharp is 54. Rock singer Sam Phillips is 51. Rock musician Dan Spitz is 50. Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 48. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 46. Singer Sarah McLachlan is 45. Rapper Rakim is 45. DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 45. Actress Kathryn Morris ("Cold Case") is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 42. Rock musician Brandon Bush is 40. MLB player Jermaine Dye is 39. Singer Joey Fatone Jr. ('N Sync) is 36. Rapper Rick Ross is 36. Actress Rosamund Pike is 34. Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 33. Actor Elijah Wood is 32. Rapper J. Cole is 28. Actress Alexandra Krosney is 25. Actress Ariel Winter (TV: "Modern Family") is 15.
Thought for today: "Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." -- From "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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