The Almanac

By United Press International   |   April 2, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Wednesday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2003 with 273 to follow.

The moon is waxing.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include Charlemagne, founder of the Holy Roman Empire, in 742; Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in 1725; Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen in 1805; French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty, in 1834; French novelist Emile Zola in 1840; surrealist artist Max Ernst in 1891; actors Buddy Ebsen in 1908 (age 95), Alec Guinness in 1914 and Jack Webb in 1920; Australian auto racer Jack Brabham in 1926; singer/songwriters Marvin Gaye in 1939 and Leon Russell in 1941 (age 62); actress Linda Hunt in 1945 (age 58); literary and cultural critic Camille Paglia and country singer Emmylou Harris, both in 1947 (age 56); actress Pamela Reed in 1953 (age 50); comedian Dana Carvey in 1955 (age 48); and actor Christopher Meloni ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") in 1961 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1513, Ponce De Leon of Spain landed at what's now St. Augustine, Fla., to search for the Fountain of Youth.

In 1792, Congress passed legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to coin money, all to be inscribed with the Latin words "E Pluribus Unum," a motto meaning "Out of Many, One."

In 1863, rioting erupted in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., sparked by an angry crowd's demand for bread at a bakery.

In 1877, the first White House Easter Egg Roll was held.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany.

Also in 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a representative from Montana, took her seat as the first woman elected to Congress.

In 1932, Charles Lindbergh left $50,000 in bills in a New York City cemetery in hope of regaining his kidnapped son. The infant was later found dead. (Bruno Hauptmann subsequently was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering the Lindbergh child and was executed.)

In 1982, Argentine troops stormed the Falkland Islands, overwhelming the small British Royal Marine unit stationed there.

In 1987, the Senate overrode a Reagan veto by one vote to enact a highway bill that authorized states to raise the speed limit to 65 mph from 55 mph in certain areas.

In 1991, Iraq crushed month-long insurgencies by northern Kurds and southern Shiite Muslims.

Also in 1991, a 30-year-old woman claimed she had been raped three days earlier by William Kennedy Smith at the Kennedy family estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (Smith would later be acquitted by a jury.)

In 1992, a New York jury convicted mob boss John Gotti, "the Teflon Don," in five murders, racketeering and other charges.

In 1993, President Clinton held a daylong forest conference in Portland, Ore.

Also in 1993, thousands of British commuters turned to their cars or stayed home as the staff of British Rail staged a 24-hour national strike.

In 1995, an explosion in the city of Gaza killed eight people, including a leader of the military wing of Hamas.

In 2000, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a stroke that left him comatose. He later died.

In 2001, the Senate passed a campaign reform bill that would ban the large unregulared political contributions known as "soft money."

Also in 2001, Duke won its third men's college basketball title by defeating Arizona, 82-72.

A thought for the day: President Kennedy said, "The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth."

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