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The almanac

By United Press International   |   March 16, 2008 at 3:30 AM
Today is Sunday, March 16, the 76th day of 2008 with 290 to follow.

This is Palm Sunday.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include James Madison, fourth president of the United States, in 1751; German physicist Georg Ohm, a pioneer in the study of electricity, in 1789; former U.S. first lady Pat Nixon in 1912; actress Mercedes McCambridge in 1916; actor Leo McKern in 1920; entertainer Jerry Lewis in 1926 (age 82); former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., in 1927; filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci in 1940 (age 68); game-show host Chuck Woolery in 1941 (age 67); actor Erik Estrada in 1949 (age 59); and actress Kate Nelligan in 1950 (age 58).


On this date in history:

In 1802, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1827, Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper in America, was published in New York.

In 1926, Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fuel rocket.

In 1966, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott docked their Gemini 8 space vehicle with an Agena craft, a first in orbital history.

In 1968, some 300 Vietnam villagers died at the hands of U.S. troops in what came to be known as the My Lai massacre.

In 1978, the U.S. Senate approved the first of two Panama Canal pacts, guaranteeing neutrality of the canal after Panama assumed control at the end of 1999.

In 1991, Baghdad claimed its troops had crushed an uprising in southern Iraq that began in the wake of the Gulf War.

In 1992, a state court in Los Angeles awarded humorist Art Buchwald and producer Alain Bernheim $900,000 from Paramount Studios for Buchwald's idea for the movie "Coming to America," which was a hit for comedian Eddie Murphy.

In 1994, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea barred its inspectors from checking one of the nation's seven nuclear sites.

In 1998, in a 14-page statement, the Vatican apologized for not doing more to prevent the killing of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

In 2002, Crown Prince Abdullah, the defacto leader of Saudi Arabia, told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that it wasn't in the best interests of the United States or the region for the United States to attack Iraq.

In 2004, Hans Blix, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector in Iraq, criticized the Bush administration for having "a set mind" about going to war with Iraq, calling the search for weapons of mass destruction an old-fashioned witch hunt.

In 2006, Iraq's recently elected 275-member parliament convened for the first time in Baghdad but did little and adjourned after 30 minutes.

Also in 2006, joint U.S. and Iraqi military forces staged a massive air offensive with more than 50 aircraft hitting insurgent positions northeast of Samara.

In 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who admitted he masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, revealed that he personally executed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl the following year in Pakistan, the U.S. government said.


A thought for the day: Art Buchwald said, "People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him."

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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