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The almanac

By United Press International   |   June 5, 2008 at 3:30 AM
Today is Thursday, June 5, the 157th day of 2008 with 209 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include economist Adam Smith in 1723; Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in 1878; English economist John Maynard Keynes in 1883; actor William Boyd, who played Hopalong Cassidy, in 1895; author/illustrator Richard Scarry in 1919; actor Robert Lansing in 1928; journalist/commentator Bill Moyers in 1934 (age 74); novelist Margaret Drabble in 1939 (age 69); Welsh author Ken Follett in 1949 (age 59); entertainer Kenny G in 1956 (age 52; rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg in 1971 (age 37); and actor Chad Allen ("Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman") in 1974 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1783, the first public demonstration of a hot-air balloon occurred at Annonay, France.

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill abolishing the gold standard.

In 1967, the Six-Day War began between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

In 1968, as he campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestine-born Arab. Kennedy, 42, died the next day.

In 1976, the Teton River Dam in Idaho collapsed as it was being filled for the first time, killing 14 people, flooding 300 square miles and causing an estimated $1 billion damage.

In 1985, General Motors agreed to buy Hughes Aircraft for more than $5 billion. At the time, it was the biggest corporate purchase outside the oil industry.

In 1986, Ronald Pelton, a former National Security Agency employee, was convicted in Baltimore of spying for the Soviet Union. The verdict came one day after former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage on behalf of Israel.

In 1991, in a step away from apartheid, South African legislators repealed the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, which reserved 87 percent of land for whites.

In 1992, on the 20th anniversary of the first U.N. environmental conference, Brazil and 11 other nations signed a controversial biodiversity treaty setting guidelines for the protection and use of plant and animal species.

In 1993, 23 Pakistani members of the U.N. peacekeeping forces were killed in a series of attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Also in 1993, 14 men charged in an Iraqi plot to kill former U.S. President George H.W. Bush went on trial in Kuwait.

In 1998, ethnic Albanian delegates pulled out of peace talks with the Yugoslav republic of Serbia because of a crackdown by Serb police in the rebellious province of Kosovo.

In 1999, NATO and Yugoslav military officials began meeting at the Kosovo border to discuss terms for NATO's suspension of its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia.

In 2000, Ukraine officials announced that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the worst radiation accident in history, would be closed.

In 2003, officials say U.S. troops will withdraw from the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, bringing an end to 50 years of guard duty.

Also in 2003, a suicide bomber killed herself and 17 others at a bus stop in northern Russia near Chechnya.

In 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president, died at his Los Angeles home at the age of 93 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

In 2005, officials said U.S. forces in Iraq discovered dozens of bunkers used to store weapons for militants, with one the size of several U.S. football fields.

In 2006, Islamist militias, fighting U.S.-supported secular warlords in Somalia, claimed to have taken control of Mogadishu after days of fighting.

In 2007, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for U.S. Vice President Dick Chaney, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for lying to FBI agents and to a grand jury in the investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the news media.


A thought for the day: Alfred Whitney Griswold said: "Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history the censor and the inquisitor have always lost."

© 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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