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The almanac

By United Press International   |   March 23, 2009 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Monday, March 23, the 82nd day of 2009 with 283 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include culinary expert Fannie Farmer in 1857; psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in 1900; actress Joan Crawford in 1905; Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa in 1910; rocket scientist Wernher von Braun in 1912; Roger Bannister, the first person to run the mile in less than 4 minutes, in 1929 (age 80); former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson Jr., in 1938; comedian Louie Anderson and singer Chaka Khan, both in 1953 (age 56); and actors Amanda Plummer in 1957 (age 52) and Keri Russell ("Felicity") in 1976 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act for taxing the American colonies, an action that became a major grievance for rebellious colonials.

In 1775, in a speech supporting the arming of the Virginia militia, Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty or give me death."

In 1942, during World War II, Japanese-Americans were forcibly moved from their homes along the Pacific Coast to inland internment camps.

In 1966, Pope Paul VI met Britain's archbishop of Canterbury at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, the first meeting between the heads of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches in 400 years.

In 1983, the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, Barney Clark of Seattle, died in a Salt Lake City hospital.

In 1985, the United States completed the secret air evacuation of 800 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

In 1989, Dick Clark retired from hosting the TV show "American Bandstand" after 33 years.

In 1996, Taiwan elected Lee Teng-hui in the island's first direct presidential election.

In 1998, Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his entire Cabinet.

Also in 1998, "Titanic" won 11 Academy Awards, tying the record total won by "Ben-Hur" in 1959.

In 1999, the vice president of Peru was assassinated.

In 2001, the United States expelled 40 Russian diplomats it said were spies. The action had come in response to the arrest of FBI agent and accused Russian spy Robert Hanssen.

Also in 2001, the Russian space station Mir was brought down in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji after more than 15 years in orbit.

In 2003, a U.S. soldier was arrested after allegedly throwing grenades into the tents of three American officers in Kuwait. Two soldiers died, 12 others were wounded.

Also, nine U.S. Marines were killed in Nasiriyah where fellow Marines found 3,000 chemical warfare suits and masks at a hospital.

In 2004, a bipartisan government commission, investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, noted in a preliminary report "alarming threats" about a possible al-Qaida attack months before the assault.

Also in 2004, NASA said new findings on Mars suggest an ancient sea once covered part of the planet.

In 2005, Iraqi forces attacked a training camp for suspected insurgents west of Baghdad, killing 80 gunmen in one of the largest operations to stamp out terrorism.

Also in 2005, federal investigators say there is no evidence of terrorism in the deadly BP refinery explosion in Texas City, Texas, that killed 15 workers and left several others in critical condition.

In 2007, eight British sailors and seven marines on a U.N. mission patrolling the Persian Gulf were seized at gunpoint by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who accused them of being in Iranian waters. The British insisted they were in Iraqi territorial waters.

In 2008, officials said the U.S. military death toll in the Iraq war, in its sixth year, climbed to more than 4,000 with the fatal attack on four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad. The reported wartime wounded roster passed 29,600.

Also in 2008, a heavy mortar assault on Baghdad's Green Zone killed 62 people, most of them reported to be Iraqis.


A thought for the day: Erich Fromm wrote, "That man can destroy life is just as miraculous a feat as that he can create it, for life is the miracle, the inexplicable."

© 2009 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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