The Almanac

By United Press International   |   March 11, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Tuesday, March 11, the 70th day of 2003 with 295 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include silent movie actress Dorothy Gish in 1898; bandleader Lawrence Welk in 1903; former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1916; civil rights leader the Rev. Ralph Abernathy in 1926; media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1931 (age 72); television newsman Sam Donaldson in 1934 (age 69); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthonin Scalia in 1936 (age 67); musician Bobby McFerrin and filmmaker Jerry Zucker ("Airplane!," the "Naked Gun" movies), both in 1950 (age 53); author Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") in 1952; and actresses Alex Kingston ("ER") in 1963 (age 40) and Thora Birch in 1981 (age 22).

On this date in history:

In 1824, the U.S. War department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In 1845, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, died in Allan Co., Ind.

In 1861, In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopted the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

In 1888, more than 200 people died as a four-day snowstorm crippled New York City. It came to be known as the Blizzard of '88.

In 1918, the first cases of the "Spanish" influenza were reported in the United States. By 1920, the virus had killed as many as 22 million people worldwide, 500,000 in the United States alone.

In 1930, William Howard Taft became the first president of the United States to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

In 1941, the Lend-Lease Bill to help Britain survive attack by Germany was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt.

in 1942, after struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur abandoned the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. Left behind at Corregidor and on the Bataan Peninsula were 90,000 American and Filipino troops, who, lacking food, supplies, and support, would soon succumb to the Japanese offensive.

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, 54, succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the Lithuanian Parliament declared the Baltic republic free of the Soviet Union and called for negotiations to make secession a reality.

Also in 1990, Gen. Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president of Chile, making way for an elected civilian leader for first time since the 1973 coup.

In 1991, six Arab guerrillas were killed by Israeli troops during a two-hour gun battle near Tirat Zvi.

In 1992, five-time top contender Martin Buser won the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska in record time.

In 1993, Janet Reno won unanimous Senate approval to become the first female U.S. Attorney General.

In 1996, the Whitewater trial of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former associates of Bill and Hillary Clinton opened in Arkansas.

In 2001, one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history began with a 436.37-point, or 4.1 percent, decline in the Dow Jones industrial average. By week's end, all the major indexes were down six percent.

In 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney began visits to several countries to try to drum up support against Iraq. British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed that military action from the West against Saddam Hussein may be necessary but international support for action against Iraq appeared weak.

A thought for the day: President William Howard Taft said, "The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts."

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