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The Almanac

By United Press International   |   March 12, 2005 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Saturday, March 12, the 71st day of 2005 with 294 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include pioneer automaker Clement Studebaker in 1831; New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs in 1858; actor/singer Gordon MacRae in 1921; novelist Jack Kerouac in 1922; union leader Lane Kirkland, also in 1922 (age 83); astronaut Wally Schirra in 1923 (age 82; playwright Edward Albee in 1928 (age 77; former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young in 1932 (age 73); singer/songwriter Al Jarreau in 1940 (age 65); actress Barbara Feldon in 1941 (age 64); singer Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 59); singer/songwriter James Taylor in 1948 (age 57); and former baseball player Darryl Strawberry in 1962 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scouts of America troop in Savannah, Ga.

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began a campaign of civil disobedience against British rule in India.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the first of his Sunday evening "fireside chats" -- informal radio addresses from the White House -- to the American people.

In 1938, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Austria.

In 1947, in a speech to Congress, President Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for U.S. aid to countries threatened by communist revolution.

In 1963, the House of Representatives voted to grant former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill honorary U.S. citizenship.

In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration approved a nationwide test of a post-exposure AIDS vaccine developed by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk.

Also in 1990, Exxon pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $100 million fine in a $1.1 billion settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

And in 1990, Kuwait City reopened its port for the first time since the Persian Gulf War.

And in 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk introduced legislation to revise land tenure laws and end racial discrimination in land ownership.

In 1992, Jim and Tammy Bakker, who ran a multimillion-dollar television evangelism empire before he went to prison for fleecing his flock, announced they were divorcing.

In 1993, Defense Secretary Aspin recommended closing 31 more major military bases around the country.

Also in 1993, more than 250 people were killed when a wave of bombings rocked Bombay, India.

In 1994, the Church of England ordained its first women priests.

In 1999, the former Soviet allies -- the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland -- joined NATO.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II apologized for the errors of his church during the past 2,000 years.

In 2001, six people, including five Americans, were killed when an errant bomb from a U.S. Navy fighter jet exploded at an observation post in Kuwait.

In 2002, Andrea Pia Yates, who confessed to drowning her five children, was found guilty of capital murder by a Houston jury that recommended life in prison. She had pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

Also in 2002, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, speaking out after Israeli raids killed 31 Palestinians, declared that Israel must end its "illegal occupation" of Palestinian land. That night, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease fire.

And in 2002, the Boston archdiocese said it would have to sell church property, take out loans and seek donations from wealthy supporters to cover the $100 million in settlements of lawsuits against priests in sexual abuse cases.

In 2003, Elizabeth Smart, 15, who had been kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home on June 2002 was found alive in the custody of a panhandler and his wife in the nearby town of Sandy, Utah.

Also in 2003, the premier of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic, died after being shot by assassins.

In 2004, millions of Spaniards protested the Madrid train bombings of the day before that killed 191 and wounded more than 1,000 others.


A thought for the day: Andrew Young told Playboy magazine, "Once the Xerox copier was invented, diplomacy died."

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