The Almanac

By United Press International   |   May 31, 2006 at 3:30 AM

Today is Wednesday, May 31, the 151st day of 2006 with 214 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include poet Walt Whitman and surgeon William Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, both in 1819; radio humorist Fred Allen in 1894; clergyman-author Norman Vincent Peale in 1898; actor Don Ameche in 1908; U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash., in 1912; Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1923; actor Clint Eastwood in 1930 (age 76); Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow in 1938 (age 68); country singer Johnny Paycheck in 1941; NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and actress Sharon Gless ("Cagney and Lacey"), both in 1943 (age 63); actors Tom Berenger and Gregory Harrison, both in 1950 (age 56), and Kyle Secor ("Homicide: Life on the Street") in 1958 (age 48); actor/writer Chris Elliot in 1960 (age 46); actress Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City") in 1961 (age 45); and actress/model Brooke Shields in 1965 (age 41).

On this date in history:

In 1790, U.S. President George Washington signed into law the first U.S. copyright law.

In 1889, a flood in Johnstown, Pa., left more than 2,200 people dead.

In 1902, Britain and South Africa signed a peace treaty ending the Boer War.

In 1962, Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.

In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to cut off funds for U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

In 1985, seven federally insured banks in Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It was a single-day record for closings since the FDIC was founded in 1934.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened a 4-day summit in Washington, focusing on the role of a united Germany in Europe.

In 1991, U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney announced the United States had begun storing military supplies in Israel for use in future conflicts.

In 1994, U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., was indicted on felony charges, including embezzlement.

In 2003, Eric Robert Rudolph, the long-sought fugitive in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing and attacks on abortion clinics and a gay nightclub, in which two died, was arrested while rummaging through a dumpster in western North Carolina.

Also in 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush began a European and Middle Eastern trip aimed at strengthening relations and promoting a "road map" peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

In 2004, a bomb ripped through a Shiite mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, while worshippers attended evening prayers. Sixteen people were killed and several others were wounded.

In 2005, Mark Felt admitted that, while No. 2 man in the FBI, he was "Deep Throat," the shadowy contact whose help to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the 1972 Watergate break-in led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation.

A thought for the day: Tolstoy said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."

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