The almanac

By United Press International   |   May 4, 2012 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Friday, May 4, the 125th day of 2012 with 241 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include educator Horace Mann in 1796; English biologist and agnostic Thomas Huxley in 1825; American landscape painter Frederic Church in 1826; New York Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman in 1889; former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1928 (age 84); musician Maynard Ferguson in 1928; actor Audrey Hepburn in 1929; opera singer Roberta Peters and Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the singing Jackson family, both in 1930 (age 82); guitarist Dick Dale in 1937 (age 75); novelist Robin Cook in 1940 (age 72); political commentator George Will in 1941 (age 71); singer Nickolas Ashford in 1941); Sigmund "Jackie" Jackson, member of the Jackson 5, in 1951 (age 61); Oleta Adams in 1953 (age 59); actor Pia Zadora in 1954 (age 58); country singer Randy Travis in 1959 (age 53); actors Ana Gasteyer in 1967 (age 45) and Will Arnett in 1970 (age 42); sports reporter Erin Andrews in 1978 (age 34); pop singer Lance Bass in 1979 (age 33); and professional golfer Rory McIlroy in 1989 (age 23).


On this date in history:

In 1494, on his second expedition to the New World, Columbus discovered Jamaica.

In 1886, four police officers were killed when a bomb was thrown during a meeting of anarchists in Chicago's Haymarket Square protesting labor unrest. Four leaders of the demonstration, which became known as the Haymarket Square Riot, were convicted and hanged.

In 1904, construction began on the Panama Canal.

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea began. It was a turning point for the Allies in World War II, with Japan losing 39 ships and the United States one.

In 1953, "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In 1959, the first Grammy Awards were presented. "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)" by Domenico Modugno won the awards for Record and Song of the Year.

In 1970, National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio during a demonstration against the Vietnam War.

In 1980, President Joseph Broz Tito of Yugoslavia died at age 87.

In 1982, an Argentine jet fighter sank the British destroyer HMS Sheffield during the Falkland Islands war.

In 1990, Latvia became the third and last of the Baltic republics to take steps toward secession from the Soviet Union.

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat signed an agreement, establishing the terms of limited Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

In 2000, the "I Love You" computer virus crashed computers around the world.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II flew to Greece to begin a journey retracing the steps of the Apostle Paul through historic lands.

In 2005, two days after U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England pleaded guilty to charges related to alleged prisoner abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison the judge threw out the plea and declared a mistrial. The judge said it wasn't clear whether the Army reservist knew at the time she was acting illegally.

In 2006, confessed terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The 37-year-old Moroccan implicated himself in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

In 2008, a passenger ferry boat reportedly carrying twice its maximum load capsized on a tributary of the Amazon River in northern Brazil. Close to 50 people were killed.

In 2009, fighting between feuding families broke out at a wedding in southeast Turkey with combatants using guns and grenades, leading to the deaths of 44 people, including the bride and groom.

In 2010, The United States reportedly had reduced its nuclear weapons stockpile by 84 percent from peak 1967 levels, from 31,255 warheads to 5,113.

In 2011, rival Palestinian political factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation accord, citing as common causes opposition to the Israeli occupation and disillusionment with the American peace efforts.


A thought for the day: Michel de Montaigne said, "There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees."

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