This is Wednesday, May 23, the 144th day of 2012 with 222 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Mercury and Uranus. Evening stars are Saturn, Mars and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern systematic botany, in 1707; Austrian physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer in 1734; social reformer Sarah Margaret Fuller in 1810; U.S. Army Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who later was a U.S. senator and for whom sideburns were named, in 1824; actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1883; baseball Hall of Fame member Zack Wheat in 1888; musician/actor Scatman Crothers and clarinetist/bandleader Artie Shaw, both in 1910; singers Helen O'Connell in 1920 and Rosemary Clooney in 1928; actors Barbara Barrie in 1931 (age 81) and Joan Collins in 1933 (age 79); Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, in 1934; actor Charles Kimbrough in 1936 (age 76); tennis Hall of Fame member John Newcombe in 1944 (age 68); writer Mitch Albom and comedian Drew Carey, both in 1958 (age 54); singer Jewel Kilcher and "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings, both in 1974 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1701, Capt. William Kidd was hanged in London for piracy and murder.
In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1829, Cyrill Demian was granted a patent for his musical instrument called the accordion.
In 1900, U.S. Army Sgt. William H. Carney became the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He was cited for his efforts during the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner, S.C., in June 1863.
In 1939, the U.S. Navy submarine "Squalus" went down off New Hampshire in 240 feet of water. Thirty-three of the 59 men aboard were saved in a daring rescue with a diving bell.
In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and spirited him to Israel, where he was tried, convicted and hanged.
In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal regulations prohibiting federally funded women's clinics from discussing or advising abortion with patients.
In 1994, four men convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
Also in 1994, the body of former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest next to her first husband, President John F. Kennedy, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
In 1997, Mohammed Khatami, a "moderate" who favored improved economic ties with the West, was elected president of Iran.
In 2002, Roman Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee acknowledged paying $450,000 in church funds in response to a claim that he had sexually assaulted a graduate student, then 33. Weakland, 75, who retired after the 1998 settlement became known, denied any sexual misconduct.
In 2008, Mexican officials say drug-related killings in the country soared by 50 percent in 2008, with many recent deaths bunched along the U.S. border.
In 2009, former South Korea President Roh Moo-Hyun, 62, linked to a corruption investigation, died in an apparent suicidal leap from a cliff.
In 2010, U.S. regulators, saying the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico won't stop off-shore oil drilling, report issuing at least seven permits for more drilling and five environmental waivers.
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that California's overcrowded prisons violated the Eighth Amendment banning "cruel and unusual punishment."
Also in 2011, a 17-hour attack on Pakistan's major naval and air base near Karachi, apparently by the Taliban, raised new concerns about the nation's ability to safeguard its nuclear arms.
A thought for the day: Lao-Tzu said, "A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step."