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The almanac

By United Press International   |   May 30, 2011 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Monday, May 30, the 150th day of 2011 with 215 to follow.

This is observed as Memorial Day in the United States.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include film director Howard Hawks in 1896; movie executive Irving Thalberg in 1899; Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and many other movie cartoon characters, in 1908; bandleader/clarinet virtuoso Benny Goodman in 1909; restaurant executive Bob Evans in 1918; Christine Jorgensen, who gained notoriety for undergoing a sex-change operation, in 1926; actors Clint Walker in 1927 (age 84), Keir Dullea in 1936 (age 75) and Michael J. Pollard in 1939 (age 72); NFL Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers in 1943 (age 68); actors Colm Meaney in 1953 (age 58), Ted McGinley in 1958 (age 53) and Jennifer Ellison in 1983 (age 28); and country singer Wynonna Judd and musician Tom Morello, both in 1964 (age 47).


On this date in history:

In 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, at age 19. She had been convicted of sorcery.

In 1783, the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" became the first daily newspaper published in the United States.

In 1806, future U.S. President Andrew Jackson took part in a duel, killing Charles Dickinson, a Kentucky lawyer who had called Jackson's wife a bigamist.

In 1868, the first major Memorial Day observance was held to honor those killed during the Civil War. It was originally known to some as "Decoration Day."

In 1911, Ray Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500 with an average speed of 74.6 miles an hour.

In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington.

In 1937, a battle between police and strikers at the Republic Steel Corp. plant in Chicago killed 10 people and wounded 90.

In 1943, the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu off the Alaskan coast were retaken by U.S. forces after being occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.

In 1972, the unmanned U.S. space probe Mariner 9 was launched on a mission to gather scientific data on Mars, ultimately sending back valuable information and becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a planet other than the Earth.

In 1972, three Japanese terrorists used automatic weapons to kill 24 people at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In 1982, Spain became the 16th member nation of NATO.

In 1998, Pakistan conducted an underground nuclear test, despite condemnation from many leading countries and the imposition of U.S. economic sanctions.

In 2002, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the FBI would have expanded powers to monitor religious, political and other organizations as well as the Internet as a guard against terrorist attacks.

Also in 2002, the massive cleanup was completed in the ruins of New York's World Trade Center, destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

In 2004, a standoff near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between Saudi authorities and militants who held 50 hostages ended when commandos stormed the building. At least nine hostages were killed by Islamic militants.

In 2005, at least 27 people, mostly police officers, were killed and more than 100 were wounded when two suicide bombers exploded bomb vests in a city south of Baghdad.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush asked Congress for an additional $30 billion to fight AIDS globally.

Also in 2007, in a Gallup poll of U.S. adults, one-third of respondents said they believed the Bible was literally true.

In 2008, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was at a record $3.96. The price hit $5 in some areas.

In 2009, analysts said 2009 U.S. college graduates faced dim employment prospects in a job market described as being in a state of "quiet desperation."

In 2010, Israel was reported deploying three submarines with nuclear cruise missiles to the Persian Gulf near the coastline of Iran.

Also in 2010, at least 30 people, one-third of them children, were killed when their bus hit a road barricade, overturned and burst into flames in southern India.


A thought for the day: Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that, "No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the godless man."

© 2011 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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