The Almanac

By United Press International   |   March 4, 2002 at 3:30 AM

Today is Monday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2002 with 302 to follow.

The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.

The morning star is Mercury.

The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include composer Antonio Vivaldi in 1678; Polish-born American patriot Casimir Pulaski in 1747; Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne in 1888; actor John Garfield in 1913; anthropologist Jane Goodall and actress/singer Barbara McNair, both in 1934 (age 68); English auto racing champion Jimmy Clark in 1936; actress Paula Prentiss in 1939 (age 63); singer Mary Wilson, formerly with the Supremes, in 1944 (age 58); actress Kay Lenz in 1953 and musician/producer Emilio Estefan, both in 1953 (age 49); and actors Catherine O'Hara ("SCTV") in 1954 (age 48) and Steven Weber ("Wings") in 1961 (age 41).

On this date in history:

In 1681, to satisfy a debt, England's King Charles II granted a royal charter, deed and governorship of Pennsylvania to William Penn.

In 1789, the U.S. Congress met for the first time, in New York City.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

In 1917, Jeanette Rankin, a Montana Republican, was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives and became the first woman to serve in Congress.

In 1958, the U.S. atomic submarine Nautilus reached the North Pole by passing beneath the Arctic ice cap.

In 1987, in a nationwide address, President Reagan acknowledged his administration swapped arms to Iran for U.S. hostages and said "it was a mistake."

In 1990, the shuttle Atlantis landed safely after depositing in orbit a secret military satellite that was later reported to have failed.

In 1991, the first allied prisoners of war were released as Iraq began complying with the terms of the official U.N. cease-fire.

In 1992, a Virginia fertility specialist was convicted of fraud and perjury for using his own sperm in the artificial insemination of his patients.

In 1993, a Muslim fundamentalist arrested in the World Trade Center bombing appeared in Manhattan federal court.

Also in 1993, a $69 million class-action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco against the U.S. government by 8,600 Amerasian children who claimed their U.S. military fathers abandoned them in the Philippines.

And in 1993, a Virginia boy who sawed off his hand while earning $4 an hour sued his parents for $2 million for letting him use a circular saw.

In 1994, four men were found guilty in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Also in 1994, Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, announced he would not seek re-election.

In 1996, a bombing at a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel, killed 14 people, including the bombers.

In 1997, for the third time in as many years, the Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget.

Also in 1997, the Korean president named a new premier and replaced eight cabinet members in the wake of a scandal involving a steel company's alleged corrupt pressures on politicians.

In 1999, a U.S. Marine pilot whose plane had snapped a ski-lift cable high in Italy, killing 20 people, was acquitted of charges of involuntary homicide and manslaughter.

Also in 1999, "Monica's Story," former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's take on her affair with President Clinton, hit bookshelves nationwide.

A thought for the day: Thomas Jefferson said, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

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