Today is Sunday, April 1, the 92nd day of 2012 with 274 to follow.
This is known as April Fools' Day in the United States.
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 German military theorist Prince Otto von Bismarck in 1815; Italian pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni in 1866; Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1873; actors Lon Chaney Sr. in 1883, Wallace Beery in 1885 and Toshiro Mifune in 1920; authors William Manchester ("Death of a President") in 1922 and Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders of Pern) in 1926; football coach Bo Schembechler in 1929; actors/singers Jane Powell in 1929 (age 83) and Debbie Reynolds in 1932 (age 80); and actors Ali MacGraw in 1939 (age 73) and Annette O'Toole in 1952 (age 60); Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai in 1940; musician Jimmy Cliff in 1948 (age 64); singer Susan Boyle in 1961 (age 51); political commentator Rachel Maddow in 1973 (age 39); reality television personality Jon Gosselin in 1977 (age 35); and actor Asa Butterfield in 1997 (age 15).
On this date in history:
In 1826, Samuel Morey was granted a patent on the internal combustion engine.
In 1918, toward the end of World War I, the British founded the Royal Air Force and two months later began bombing industrial targets in Germany from bases in France.
In 1924, Adolf Hitler was sent to prison for five years after failing to take over Germany by force, the unsuccessful "Beer Hall Putsch" in the German state of Bavaria.
In 1945, U.S. forces swarmed ashore on the Japanese island of Okinawa, to begin what would be one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II.
In 1946, tsunami created by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake near the Aleutian Islands, killed 159 in the Hawaiian Islands.
In 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon signed legislation calling for mandatory health warnings on tobacco product packaging and banning cigarette ads on TV and radio, effective Jan. 1, 1971.
In 1979, Iran declared itself an Islamic Republic.
In 1982, the United States transferred control of the Panama Canal Zone to the government of Panama.
In 1986, world oil prices dipped to less than $10 a barrel.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced a $24 billion aid package to the former Soviet republics.
In 1996, an outbreak of "mad cow" disease forced Britain to plan the mass slaughter of cows.
In 1999, Canada created a new territory, Nunavut, as a means of providing autonomy for the Inuit people.
In 2001, a U.S. Navy spy plane collided with a Chinese jetfighter off the coast of China. The Chinese plane crashed into the ocean; the damaged U.S. plane landed on the Chinese island of Hainan, where its 24 crewmembers were held for 11 days.
In 2002, the United States and Pakistan announced the capture of a top al-Qaida leader, a major break in their war on terrorism.
In 2003, U.S. Marines rescued Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, who had been held prisoner in Iraq since an ambush on March 23.
In 2006, all 19 people on a Brazilian commuter flight were found dead following a crash in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro.
In 2007, a magnitude-8 earthquake in the South Pacific triggered a tsunami that sent waves several feet high into the western Solomon Islands.
In 2009, Sweden became the fifth European nation to legalize same-sex marriages. Others are the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Spain.
Also in 2009, 16 people died in the crash of a helicopter in northeast Scotland. Victims included 14 oil workers.
In 2010, U.S. auto sales for new vehicles in March jumped 41 percent over the same month a year earlier, industry officials reported.
Also in 2010, formal guidelines for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions U.S. cars will be able to produce were issued by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. A combined fuel economy average for new vehicles, for mileage and emissions, would be 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.
In 2011, the U.S. Labor Department released March data indicated a slight drop in U.S. unemployment to 8.8 percent with 216,000 new non-farm jobs.
Also in 2011, a Southwest Airlines flight to Sacramento, Calif., with 118 passengers, made an emergency landing when a 5-foot hole ripped open in the roof. No one was seriously hurt. The airline inspected its fleet, blamed metal fatigue and found two other jets with similar problems.
A thought for the day: mime Marcel Marceau said, "It's good to shut up sometimes."