Today is Wednesday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2006 with 263 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 Aries. They include American statesman Henry Clay in 1777; opera singer Lily Pons in 1904; bandleader Lionel Hampton in 1909; singer Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury, in 1922; actress/dancer Ann Miller in 1923; jazz keyboard player Herbie Hancock in 1940 (age 66); actor Ed O'Neill in 1946 (age 60); author Tom Clancy, talk show host David Letterman and actor Dan Lauria, all in 1947 (age 59); actor/singer David Cassidy in 1950 (age 56); actor Andy Garcia in 1956 (age 50); country singer Vince Gill in 1957 (age 49); and actresses Shannen Doherty in 1971 (age 35), and Claire Danes in 1979 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1861, the Civil War began when Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter, S.C.
In 1935, "Your Hit Parade" premiered on radio.
In 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving president in U.S. history, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Warm Springs, Ga., three months into his fourth term. About three hours later, Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in as chief executive.
In 1955, federal health officials announced that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was "safe, potent and effective."
In 1961, the Soviet Union launched the first manned spacecraft. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth and return safely.
In 1981, the first U.S. space shuttle flight was launched. The flight of Columbia was the first U.S. manned space mission since July 1976.
In 1990, under pressure from environmentalists, three top U.S. tuna canneries -- Heinz, Van Camp and Bumblebee -- announced "dolphin-safe" tuna-catching practices.
In 1992, the European Community announced that a cease-fire accord had been reached in Europe's newest nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a former Yugoslav republic. The truce did not last.
In 1993, NATO warplanes began enforcing a no-fly zone over embattled Bosnia-Herzegovina, marking the first time the alliance's forces were used outside its traditional defense area.
In 1994, Israel and the PLO agreed that 9,000 Palestinian police would be stationed in Jericho and the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military withdrawal.
In 1999, a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., found President Bill Clinton in contempt of court for lying during his sworn deposition in January 1998, when he testified that he had not had sexual relations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was fined $1,202.
Also in 1999, the Clintons' Whitewater partner, Susan McDougal, was acquitted of obstruction of justice.
In 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell, after hearing European foreign ministers demand an immediate Israeli pullback from the West Bank, met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon but they failed to agree on a timetable for removing troops from the Palestinian territory.
Also in 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was overthrown in a military coup but was returned to office two days later riding a wave of public sentiment.
In 2003, Gen. Amir al-Saadi, Saddam Hussein's top science adviser, denied Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction and surrendered to U.S. forces.
Also in 2003, women's rights advocate Martha Burk tried unsuccessfully to disrupt the Masters golf tournament because the Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club, the tournament host, had no female members.
In 2004, Iraqi insurgents released 12 hostages of different nationalities in response to pleas by Sunni Muslim clerics.
In 2005, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq and urged the quick formation of a new government.
Also in 2005, Italy, China, Mexico and South Korea were among the countries opposing efforts by Japan and India to become permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
A thought for the day: Martha Grimes said, "We don't know who we are until we see what we can do."