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The almanac

By United Press International   |   March 23, 2012 at 3:30 AM
Today is Friday, March 23, the 83rd day of 2012 with 283 to follow.

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


Those born on this date were under the sign of Aries. They include pirate Capt. William Kidd in 1645; culinary expert Fannie Farmer in 1857; Czech writer Josef Capek in 1887; psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in 1900; actor 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 83); land speed racing pioneer Craig Breedlove in 1937 (age 75); former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson Jr., in 1938; musicians Ric Ocasek in 1949 (age 63) and Chaka Khan in 1953 (age 59); television analyst and former NFL player Ron Jaworski in 1951 (age 61); author Kim Stanley Robinson in 1952 (age 60); actors Amanda Plummer in 1957 (age 55) and Keri Russell in 1976 (age 36); and gossip blogger Perez Hilton in 1978 (age 34).


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 1965, Astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young are launched in Gemini 3, the first U.S. two-man crew in space.

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, NASA said 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, an explosion at a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers and severely injured several others.

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 deaths of 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.

In 2009, the Mexican government offered rewards of up to $2 million apiece for information leading to the capture of 24 drug kingpins and $1 million each for 13 of their top lieutenants.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the landmark healthcare reform bill into law. The legislation was designed to extend health insurance to some 32 million Americans over a 10-year period.

Also in 2010, a former community doctor with a history of mental health problems was accused of fatally stabbing eight children and injuring five others in an attack at a school in China's Fujian Province.

In 2011, a U.S. soldier pleaded guilty to murder charges accusing him of killing three Afghan civilians for sport. Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, sentenced to 24 years in prison, told his court-martial, "The plan was to kill people." Four others awaited trial.


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."

© 2012 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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