The Almanac

By United Press International   |   May 13, 2004 at 3:30 AM

Today is Thursday, May 13, the 134th day of 2004 with 232 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan, in 1842; French cubist painter Georges Braque in 1882; English novelist Daphne Du Maurier in 1907; heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis in 1914; actors Beatrice Arthur in 1923 (age 81) and Harvey Keitel in 1939 (age 65); singers Mary Wells in 1943 and Stevie Wonder, born Steveland Hardaway, in 1950 (age 54); former pro basketball star Dennis Rodman in 1961 (age 43); and actress Julianne Phillips in 1962 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1607, Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America, was founded near the James River in Virginia.

In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico.

In 1981, Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. The pope later, from his hospital bed, forgave his assailant.

In 1985, 11 people died when a Philadelphia police helicopter bombed the fortified house of a radical organization, MOVE, to end a 24-hour siege. The ensuing fire destroyed 53 homes.

In 1989, President Bush called for the overthrow of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega.

In 1991, Winnie Mandela was convicted of being an accessory in the assault of four youths who had been kidnapped and taken to her Soweto, South Africa, home in 1988.

In 1992, astronauts from the shuttle Endeavour made an unprecedented three-man spacewalk to salvage an errant communications satellite.

In 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin announced that research on the Strategic Defense Initiative -- better known as "Star Wars" -- was being discontinued.

Also in 1993, a jury in Austin, Texas, found a man guilty of rape despite his claims that his victim consented by insisting he wear a condom.

In 1994, President Clinton nominated Judge Stephen Breyer to succeed Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1998, as India conducted more nuclear test blasts, President Clinton announced he would impose economic sanctions against New Delhi as required by the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act.

In 2002, the sex abuse scandal involving Roman Catholic clergy grew violent when a Baltimore priest accused of molesting a youth years earlier was shot and wounded by the alleged victim. The following day, a Connecticut priest hanged himself at a Maryland treatment center for priests accused of molestation.

Also in 2002, President George W. Bush signed a bill that would increase federal payments to farmers by at least $83 billion over 10 years. Congressional critics called it a budget buster.

And, President Bush announced that he and Russian President Putin would sign a treaty committing the United States and Russia to a two-thirds reduction in their nuclear arsenal over 10 years.

In 2003, suicide bombers, in four coordinated attacks, killed 34 people in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

A thought for the day: E.B. White wrote, "The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people."

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