The almanac

By United Press International   |   May 13, 2012 at 3:30 AM   |   0 comments

Today is Sunday, May 13, the 134th day of 2012 with 232 to follow.

This is Mother's Day in the United States.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include composer Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan, in 1842; French cubist painter Georges Braque in 1882; English novelist Daphne du Maurier in 1907; former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis in 1914; singer Mary Wells in 1943; actor/singer Bea Arthur in 1922; cult leader Jim Jones in 1931; actors Harvey Keitel in 1939 (age 73) and Senta Berger in 1941 (age 71); rock 'n' roll singer Ritchie Valens in 1941; singers Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, in 1950 (age 62) and Darius Rucker in 1966 (age 46); basketball Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman in 1961 (age 51); comedian Stephen Colbert in 1964 (age 48); and actor Robert Pattinson in 1986 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1607, Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America, was founded near the James River in Virginia.

In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico.

In 1912, Britain established its air force -- the Royal Flying Corps.

In 1981, Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. The pope later, from his hospital bed, forgave his assailant.

In 1985, 11 people died when a Philadelphia police helicopter bombed the fortified house of a radical organization, MOVE, to end a 24-hour siege. The ensuing fire destroyed 53 homes.

In 1989, U.S. President George H.W. Bush called for the overthrow of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega.

In 1991, Winnie Mandela was convicted of being an accessory in the assault of four youths who had been kidnapped and taken to her Soweto, South Africa, home in 1988.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Judge Stephen Breyer to succeed Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1998, as India conducted more nuclear tests, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he would impose economic sanctions against New Delhi as required by the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act.

In 2002, the sex abuse scandal involving Roman Catholic clergy grew violent when a Baltimore priest accused of molesting a youth years earlier was shot by the alleged victim. The following day, a Connecticut priest hanged himself at a Maryland treatment center for priests accused of molestation.

Also in 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty committing the United States and Russia to a two-thirds reduction in their nuclear arsenal over 10 years.

In 2003, suicide bombers, in four coordinated attacks, killed 34 people in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In 2005, Colombian authorities said they made the biggest drug bust in the nation's history when they grabbed 12 tons of cocaine valued at $300 million.

In 2007, Hamas and Fatah gunmen traded gunfire in Gaza, killing at least two people after a weekend of renewed factional Palestinian fighting. Within a few days, 40 Palestinians were reported dead from violent exchanges.

In 2008, rescue officials working in the aftermath of China's devastating earthquake said it appeared none of the hundreds of students trapped in a collapsed school had survived.

Also in 2008, officials in the Indian city of Jaipur said seven explosions killed at least 50 people.

In 2009, astronauts on a 14-day servicing mission embarked on the first of five planned spacewalks to repair and update the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope, including installation of a new wide field camera and a Cosmic Origins Spectograph.

Also in 2009, Connecticut lawmakers voted to abolish the death penalty.

In 2010, a dispute over new elections in Thailand grew violent when the Thai military fired on protesters who retaliated with grenade attacks. The fatal shooting of a prominent general who sided with the protesters made matters worse and prompted the government to declare a state of emergency.

In 2011, the Libyan government denied reports that its embattled leader, Moammar Gadhafi, had been wounded during an extensive NATO attack in Tripoli. But, a spokesman said Gadhafi's whereabouts at that time were unknown.

Also in 2011, in a reported retaliation to the slaying of terrorist chief Osama bin Laden, two suicide bombers killed 80 Pakistani recruits at a training center.


A thought for the day: E.B. White wrote, "The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people."

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