Today is Thursday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2009 with 273 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include Charlemagne, founder of the Holy Roman Empire, in 742; Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in 1725; Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen in 1805; French novelist Emile Zola in 1840; surrealist artist Max Ernst in 1891; actors Buddy Ebsen in 1908; Alec Guinness in 1914 and Jack Webb in 1920; Australian auto racer Jack Brabham in 1926; singer/songwriters Marvin Gaye in 1939 and Leon Russell in 1942 (age 67); actress Linda Hunt in 1945 (age 64); literary and cultural critic Camille Paglia and country singer Emmylou Harris, both in 1947 (age 62); actress Pamela Reed in 1949 (age 60); and actor Christopher Meloni ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") in 1961 (age 48).
On this date in history:
In 1513, Ponce De Leon of Spain landed at what is now St. Augustine, Fla., to search for the Fountain of Youth.
In 1792, the U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to coin money, all to be inscribed with the Latin words "E Pluribus Unum," a motto meaning "Out of Many, One."
In 1863, rioting erupted in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., sparked by an angry crowd's demand for bread at a bakery.
In 1877, the first White House Easter Egg Roll was conducted.
In 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany.
Also in 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a representative from Montana, took her seat as the first woman elected to Congress.
In 1932, Charles Lindbergh left $50,000 in a New York City cemetery in hope of regaining his kidnapped son. The infant was later found dead. Bruno Hauptmann subsequently was convicted of kidnapping and murder and was executed.
In 1982, Argentine troops stormed the Falkland Islands, overwhelming the small British Royal Marine unit stationed there.
In 1987, the U.S. Senate overrode a Reagan veto by one vote to enact a highway bill that allowed states to raise speed limits to 65 mph in certain areas.
In 1991, Iraq crushed monthlong insurgencies by northern Kurds and southern Shiite Muslims.
In 1992, a New York jury convicted mob boss John Gotti in five killings, racketeering and other charges.
In 1995, an explosion in the city of Gaza killed eight people, including a leader of the military wing of Hamas.
In 2000, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a stroke that left him comatose.
In 2005, Pope John Paul II, head of the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century, died at his Vatican apartment. The 84-year-old pontiff suffered in his final days from a urinary tract infection and a bacterial infection that led to organ failure.
In 2006, U.S. journalist Jill Carroll returned to Boston after being held in Iraq for 82 days by kidnappers. She said she had been forced to do a videotape denouncing the war.
Also in 2006, at least 50 people were killed in Iraq in violence that included a mortar attack, military firefights and roadside bombings.
In 2007, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases by motor vehicles and must do so unless it can show a scientific reason not to.
Also in 2007, the United States and South Korea ended 10 months of negotiations with an agreement on bilateral free trade.
And, in 2007 sports, the University of Florida repeated as NCAA Division I basketball champion, becoming the first school to win both the national collegiate basketball and football titles the same academic year.
In 2008, the opposition leader in the Zimbabwe presidential election, Morgan Tsvangirai, declared himself the winner over long-time leader Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, with a reported 50.3 percent of the vote. But, Mugabe refused to concede, official election results were postponed and widespread violence cropped up as a long, drawn-out political drama continued.
A thought for the day: U.S. President John Kennedy said, "The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth."