This is Good Friday.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Venus and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include newspaper editor Joseph Medill in 1823; journalist Lincoln Steffens in 1866; actor Walter Huston in 1884; radio commentator Lowell Thomas in 1892; baseball Hall-of-Famer Gordon "Mickey" Cochrane in 1903; geneticist James Watson in 1928 (age 79); musician Andre Previn in 1929 (age 78); country singer Merle Haggard and actor Billy Dee Williams, both in 1937 (age 70); producer/director Barry Levinson in 1942 (age 65); singer/actress Michelle Phillips in 1944 (age 63); and actors John Ratzenberger ("Cheers") in 1947 (age 60), Marilu Henner ("Taxi") in 1952 (age 55) and Candace Cameron ("Full House") in 1976 (age 31).
On this date in history:
In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints was founded in a log cabin in Fayette, N.Y.
In 1851, Portland, Ore., was founded.
In 1868, Mormon Church leader Brigham Young married his 27th, and last, wife.
In 1896, the first modern Olympics formally opened at Athens, Greece. The Olympics had last been staged 1,500 years earlier.
In 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, propelling America into World War I.
In 1931, nine black youths accused of raping two white women went on trial in Scottsboro, Ala. All were convicted in a hasty trial but by 1950 were free by parole, appeal or escape.
In 1938, Du Pont researchers Roy Plunkett and Jack Rebok accidentally created the chemical compound that was later marketed as Teflon.
In 1947, the first Tony Awards, honoring distinguished work in the theater, were presented in New York City.
In 1968, federal troops and National Guardsmen were ordered out in Chicago, Washington and Detroit, as rioting continued over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1991, Iraq's parliament accepted a permanent cease-fire in the Gulf War.
In 1992, science fiction patriarch Isaac Asimov, 72, died after lengthy illness.
In 1994, the presidents of the African nations of Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a plane crash in Kigali. The incident triggered bloody fighting between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups that left hundreds of thousands of people dead.
Also in 1994, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who had served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1970, announced his retirement.
In 1996, rioting broke out in Liberia following the arrest of factional leader Roosevelt Johnson on murder charges.
In 1998, U.S. health officials announced that tamoxifen, a synthetic hormone, prevented breast cancer in women at high risk.
In 2001, the U.S. Senate approved a $1.2 trillion tax cut over 10 years, somewhat less than the $1.6 trillion passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and advocated by U.S. President George W. Bush.
Also in 2001, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted an Algerian man on charges stemming from his arrest at the U.S.-Canadian border in December 1999. Prosecutors said Ahmen Ressam was planning to set off explosions during the millennium celebrations.
In 2003, U.N. officials said they had reports that at least 966 people had been killed three days earlier in a dozen Congolese villages in an area rich in minerals.
In 2004, Jordan cautioned Israel against targeting Palestinian leaders residing on Jordanian territory, warning it would plunge the region into a circle of violence.
In 2004 sports, the University of Connecticut became the first school to win both the Division I men's and women's college basketball championships the same year.
In 2005, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, one of Europe's longest-reigning monarchs, died from multiple organ failure at the age of 81. He was succeeded by Prince Albert, one of three children he had with his late wife, U.S. movie star Grace Kelly.
Also in 2005, strong security was set up in Rome two days before the funeral of Pope John Paul II, including anti-missile systems, NATO forces, fighter jet protection and a warship on standby in the Mediterranean.
In 2006, health officials said bird flu continued to spread. The United Kingdom reported its first case in an infected dead swan in eastern Scotland. The West African nation of Burkino Faso also reported its first case.
Also in 2006, a translation of the so-called Gospel of Judas was released 18 centuries after it was written and 30 years after its discovery in Egypt.
A thought for the day: Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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