The Almanac

By United Press International   |   March 24, 2002 at 3:30 AM

Today is Sunday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2002 with 282 to follow.

This is Palm Sunday.

The moon is waxing, moving toward its full phase.

The morning star is Mercury.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include financier Andrew Mellon in 1855; magician and escape artist Harry Houdini in 1874; silent film actor Fatty Arbuckle in 1887; pioneer film animator Ub Iwerks, whose artistry helped Walt Disney to realize his vision, in 1901; Republican presidential candidate Thomas Dewey in 1902; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1919 (age 83); actors Norman Fell in 1925 and Steve McQueen in 1930; dress designer Bob Mackie in 1940 (age 62); and actresses Donna Pescow in 1954 (age 48) and Laura Flynn Boyle in 1970 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1934, the United States granted the Philippine Islands independence, effective July 4th, 1946.

In 1965, white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo of Detroit was shot and killed on a road near Selma, Ala.

In 1975, the beaver became the official symbol of Canada.

In 1976, Argentine President Isabel Peron, widow of strongman ruler Juan Peron, was arrested in a military coup.

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in the Gulf of Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil in the largest oil tanker spill in U.S. history.

In 1991, 12 people were killed and 29 wounded when South African police fired on ANC supporters at a rally in a black township in Daveytown after ordering the crowd to disperse.

In 1992, Jerry Brown pulled an upset win over Bill Clinton in Connecticut, causing serious damage to the Arkansas governor's quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1993, the suspected ringleader of the first World Trade Center bombing that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 was arrested in Egypt and extradited to New York.

In 1995, in a vote nearly along party lines, the House approved a bill that would overhaul welfare.

In 1996, McDonalds stopped selling British beef in its British outlets.

In 1998, four girls and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., were killed by bullets fired from a nearby woods. Police arrested two boys, ages 11 and 13, in connection with the slayings.

In 1999, NATO launched attacks on targets in Yugoslavia after the Serbs refused to sign a peace agreement worked out for the future of the rebellious province of Kosovo. The air war lasted almost three months, until Serb forces withdrew from Kosovo.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

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