Today is Sunday, March 25, the 85th day of 2012 with 281 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Uranus and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Jupiter and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include conductor Arturo Toscanini and Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum, both in 1867; composer Bela Bartok in 1881; actor Ed Begley Sr. in 1901; film director/producer/writer David Lean ("The Bridge On The River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago") in 1908; Jack Ruby, who killed presumed Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, in 1911; sports commentator Howard Cosell in 1918; French actor Simone Signoret in 1921; writer Flannery O'Connor in 1925; astronaut James Lovell in 1928 (age 84); feminist writer Gloria Steinem in 1934 (age 78); singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton in 1938; singer Anita Bryant in 1940 (age 72); soul singer Aretha Franklin in 1942 (age 70); actor/director Paul Michael Glaser in 1943 (age 69); pop star Elton John in 1947 (age 65); actors Bonnie Bedelia in 1948 (age 64) and Sarah Jessica Parker in 1965 (age 47); Olympic silver medalist figure skater Debi Thomas in 1967 (age 45); three-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball Sheryl Swoopes in 1971 (age 41); and race car driver Danica Patrick in 1982 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1634, the first colonists to Maryland arrive at St. Clement's Island on Maryland's western shore and founded the settlement of St. Mary's.
In 1807, the English Parliament abolished the slave trade.
In 1911, 147 people died when they were trapped by a fire that swept the Triangle Shirt Waist factory in New York City.
In 1947, a mine explosion in Centralia, Ill., killed 111 men, most of them asphyxiated by gas.
In 1954, the Radio Corporation of America began commercial production of color television sets.
In 1957, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg signed a treaty in Rome establishing the European Economic Community, also known as the common market.
In 1975, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a deranged nephew at his palace in Riyadh.
In 1990, an arson fire swept an overcrowded, illegal Bronx social club, killing 87 people in the worst mass slaying in U.S. history at the time and the deadliest New York blaze since the Triangle Shirt Waist factory disaster exactly 79 years earlier. Julio Gonzalez, 36, was charged with arson and murder.
In 1992, in a further sign of the capitalist revolution, veterans of the former Soviet KGB announced plans to sell cloak-and-dagger tales to Hollywood for movies and TV.
In 1994, the last U.S. soldiers left Mogadishu, Somalia, although a handful remained behind to protect U.S. diplomats and to provide support for U.N. peacekeepers.
In 1998, the first known physician-assisted suicide to be legal under Oregon state law was reported by the group Compassion In Dying.
In 2002, an earthquake devastated rural areas of Afghanistan. The quake, with a 6.1 magnitude, killed at least 600 people.
In 2006, an estimated 500,000 people protested in Los Angeles against proposed U.S. legislation that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally.
In 2008, about 30,000 Iraqi troops and police, with U.S. and British air support, attacked Basra Shiite militants who control the city and its lucrative ports in southern Iraq.
Also in 2008, the Dalai Lama said he would resign as Tibetan spiritual leader if violent protests by his followers against China continued.
In 2010, final results in the Iraqi parliamentary elections gave an edge to a coalition headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. On the day the vote was announced two explosions in a crowded Iraqi market killed at least 59 people.
Also in 2010, an explosion sank a South Korean warship on patrol in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors. North Korea denied accusations it had torpedoed the ship.
In 2011, the burning of a copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, by a religious group in Gainesville, Fla., triggered a violent response from militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the attack on a U.N. compound by an angry Afghan mob that killed three staff members and four security guards.
A thought for the day: Mahatma Gandhi said, "It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."