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The almanac

By United Press International   |   March 14, 2012 at 3:30 AM
Today is Wednesday, March 14, the 74th day of 2012 with 292 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Austrian composer Johann Strauss, Sr. in 1804; Thomas Marshall, U.S. vice president under Woodrow Wilson, in 1854; railroad engineer and hero of the ballad Casey Jones, whose real name was John Luther Jones, in 1864; physicist Albert Einstein in 1879; bandleader Les Brown in 1912; cartoonist Hank Ketcham ("Dennis the Menace") in 1920; astronaut Frank Borman in 1928 (age 84); actor Michael Caine and composer Quincy Jones, both in 1933 (age 79); astronaut and "last man on the moon" Eugene Cernan in 1934 (age 78); golf Hall of Fame member Bob Charles in 1936 (age 76); basketball Hall of Fame member Wes Unseld in 1946 (age 66); comedian Billy Crystal in 1948 (age 64), Prince Albert of Monaco in 1958 (age 54); and Baseball Hall of Fame member Kirby Puckett in 1960.


On this date in history:

In 1794, Eli Whitney was granted a patent for the cotton gin.

In 1812, the U.S. government authorized issue of America's first war bonds, to pay for military equipment for use against the British.

In 1885, "The Mikado" by Gilbert and Sullivan made its stage debut in London.

In 1950, the FBI's "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list made its debut.

In 1951, Seoul, South Korea, was recaptured by U.N. troops during the Korean War.

In 1964, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby was convicted of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of U.S. President John Kennedy. Ruby was sentenced to death but the conviction was overturned and he died of cancer while awaiting a new trial.

In 1989, the Bush administration announced it would ban imports of semi-automatic assault rifles indefinitely.

In 1991, scientists from around the world reported the discovery of the gene that triggers colon cancer.

Also in 1991, the emir of Kuwait returned to his country for the first time since the Iraq invasion.

In 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton underwent knee surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland after injuring himself while visiting golfer Greg Norman in Palm Beach, Fla.

In 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered a step-up in the slaughter of livestock as the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak continued.

In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the accounting firm Arthur Andersen had been indicted for destroying thousands of documents related to the investigation into the collapse of Enron, the energy-trading company.

In 2003, Philippine military officials said almost 200 separatist militants had been killed in three days of fighting on Mindanao.

Also in 2003, Hu Jintao was chosen to replace Jiang Zemin as president of China.

In 2004, Vladimir Putin easily won re-election as president of Russia.

Also in 2004, the Socialist Workers Party scored an upset victory in Spain's parliamentary elections.

In 2005, Spanish police were reported to have broken Europe's largest money-laundering ring with the arrest of seven lawyers and three notaries.

In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush's approval rating fell to a record low of 33 percent in a Pew survey. It was 36 percent in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

In 2007, a massive explosion in a Kabul, Afghanistan, bazaar where guns and ammunition were sold killed at least 13 people and injured 15 others. Authorities said the blast wasn't terror-related.

In 2008, Tibet's bitter resentment of Chinese dominance turned violent as rioters in Lhasa attacked ethnic Chinese residents and burned and looted Chinese- and Muslim-owned shops while battling Chinese forces. The death toll stood officially at 10 but Tibetan sources said more than 100 were killed.

In 2009, Australian authorities say a 230-ton oil spill from a Hong-Kong registered freighter caused an environmental disaster along nearly 40 miles of beach off the Queensland coast.

In 2010, Katie Spotz, 22, of Mentor, Ohio, became the youngest person and first American to complete a solo journey across the Atlantic Ocean, a 2,817-mile, 2 1/2-month voyage in a 19-foot wooden rowboat.

Also in 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama called Israel's plan to build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem "dangerous" and a top aide branded the move a "calculated" attempt to undermine peace efforts.

In 2011, a third explosion at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, severely damaged by the powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami, raised concern of a meltdown and release of dangerous radiation into the air, officials said. The United States sent radiation experts to help in the aftermath and monitor a possible radiation spread to Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. West Coast.


A thought for the day: Albert Einstein wrote, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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