The Almanac

By United Press International   |   March 16, 2004 at 3:30 AM

Today is Tuesday, March 16, the 76th day of 2004 with 290 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include James Madison, fourth president of the United States, in 1751; German physicist Georg Ohm, a pioneer in the study of electricity, in 1787; former first lady Pat Nixon in 1912; actor Leo McKern in 1920; entertainer Jerry Lewis in 1926 (age 78); Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., in 1927 (age 77); filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci in 1941 (age 63); game-show host Chuck Wollery in 1942 (age 62); actor Erik Estrada in 1949 (age 55); and actors Kate Nelligan in 1951 (age 53) and Kevin Smith ("Hercules," "Xena: Warrior Princess") in 1963.

On this date in history:

In 1802, Congress authorized the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1827, Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper in America, was published in New York.

In 1926, Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fuel rocket.

In 1966, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott docked their Gemini-8 space vehicle with an Agena craft, a first in orbital history.

In 1968, some 300 Vietnam villagers died at the hands of American troops in what came to be known as the My Lai massacre.

In 1978, the Senate approved the first of two Panama Canal pacts. The treaty guaranteed neutrality of the canal after Panama assumes control at the end of 1999.

In 1991, Baghdad claimed its troops had crushed an uprising in southern Iraq that began in the wake of the Gulf War.

In 1992, a state court in Los Angeles awarded humorist Art Buchwald and producer Alain Bernheim $900,000 from Paramount Studios for Buchwald's idea for the movie "Coming to America," which was a hit for comedian Eddie Murphy.

In 1993, authorities met "face-to-face" for the first time with representatives from the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in an effort to end the 17-day siege peacefully.

In 1994, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea barred its inspectors from checking one of the Communist nation's seven nuclear sites.

Also in 1994, Tonya Harding pleaded guilty to helping cover up the plot that led to the injury of fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan.

In 1998, in a 14-page statement, the Vatican apologized for not doing more to prevent the murders of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

In 1999, millionaire magazine publisher Steve Forbes announced his second and ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 2000, a New York City undercover narcotics detective shot to death an unarmed man, Patrick Dorismond, during a confrontation outside a midtown Manhattan bar. Outrage over the killing intensified when Mayor Giuliani released Dorismond's sealed juvenile arrest records, allegedly to show how the victim had a propensity for violence.

In 2002, Crown Prince Abdullah, the defacto leader of Saudi Arabia, told Vice President Dick Cheney that it was not in the best interests of the United States or the region for the U.S. to attack Iraq.

In 2003, an Israeli army bulldozer ran over and killed an American woman trying to prevent it from destroying a Palestinian home on the West Bank.

A thought for the day: Art Buchwald said, "People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him."

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