Today is Wednesday, March 15, the 74th day of 2006 with 291 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, in 1767; German immunologist Emil von Behring in 1854; Hollywood movie mogul Lew Wasserman in 1913; trumpet playing bandleader Harry James in 1916; astronaut Alan Bean in 1932 (age 74); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 1933 (age 73); actor Judd Hirsch in 1935 (age 71); singers Mike Love of the Beach Boys in 1941 (age 65) and Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone in 1944 (age 62); actress Park Overall in 1957 (age 49); and model Fabio, born Fabio Lanzori, in 1961 (age 45).
On this date in history:
In 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and other Roman nobles in Rome.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World.
In 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise between the North and the South, Maine was admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. It had been administered as a province of Massachusetts since 1647.
In 1916, U.S. Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing marched into Mexico to capture revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, who had staged several cross-border raids. The two-year expedition was unsuccessful.
In 1984, the acquittal of a Miami police officer on charges of negligently killing a ghetto youth sparked a rampage by angry blacks in Miami. 550 people were arrested.
In 1985, two decades of military rule in Brazil ended with the installation of a civilian government.
In 1990, the Israeli Knesset brought down Yitzhak Shamir's government on a no-confidence motion after the Likud Party leader refused to accept a U.S. peace proposal.
In 1991, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic declared Serbia's secession from the Yugoslav federation.
In 1993, the New York Post filed for bankruptcy protection hours after the newspaper's new owner fired 72 employees, throwing the future of the 192-year-old tabloid into doubt.
In 1997, the rebellion in Zaire continued as Kisangani, the African nation's third-largest city, fell to rebel forces.
In 2001, the U.S. Senate passed federal bankruptcy reforms that would tighten guidelines for filing for bankruptcy.
Also in 2001, Chechen terrorists hijacked a Russian airliner en route from Istanbul, Turkey, to Moscow and diverted it to Medina, Saudi Arabia. After nearly 24 hours of fruitless negotiations, a Saudi security team stormed the plane and freed the hostages.
In 2003, a strange new illness with pneumonia-like symptoms called severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, became a cause for alarm as it spread from Asia to Europe to North America.
In 2004, Martha Stewart, the homemaking guru convicted of criminal charges in a stock sale case, resigned as a director and officer of the company she founded, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
Also in 2004, astronomers reported finding an object with a diameter of 800 to 1,100 miles circling the sun far beyond the orbit of any known planet. It was dubbed a "planetoid."
In 2005, Bernard Ebbers, former head if WorldCom, was convicted of orchestrating fraudulent accounting practices that fleeced $11 billion from the telecommunications company now known as MCI.
A thought for the day: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg told an interviewer, "The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control."