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The almanac

By United Press International   |   May 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM
Today is Saturday, May 26, the 147th day of 2012 with 219 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 English Gen. John Churchill, ancestor of statesman Winston Churchill, in 1650; entertainer Al Jolson in 1886; dancer Isadora Duncan in 1877; actors John Wayne in 1907, Robert Morley in 1908; Jay Silverheels in 1912; Peter Cushing in 1913 and James Arness in 1923; trumpeter Ziggy Elman in 1914; singers Peggy Lee in 1920 and Stevie Nicks in 1948 (age 64); jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in 1926; right-to-die advocate Jack Kevorkian in 1928; sportscaster Brent Musburger in 1939 (age 73); musician and actor Levon Helm in 1940; singer Hank Williams Jr. and actors Pam Grier and Philip Michael Thomas, all in 1949 (age 63); Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space, in 1951 (age 61); actors Genie Francis and Bobcat Goldthwait, both in 1962 (age 50) and Helena Bonham Carter in 1966 (age 46); and musician Lenny Kravitz in 1964 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1864, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, anxious to create new free territories during the Civil War, signed an act establishing the Montana Territory. Montana became a state 25 years later.

In 1868, at the end of a historic two-month trial, the U.S. Senate failed to convict President Andrew Johnson of impeachment charges levied against him by the House of Representatives. Johnson won acquittal by one vote on each count.

In 1896, Nicholas II became the Russian czar.

In 1897, "Dracula" was published by Irish writer Bram Stoker.

In 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began. Sailing vessels of every kind were pressed into service to ferry across the English Channel the British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped by advancing German forces in northern France. All 200,000 were safely across by June 2.

In 1954, more than 100 crewmembers of the aircraft carrier USS Bennington died in an explosion off Rhode Island.

In 1972, at a Moscow summit, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pact limiting nuclear weapons.

In 1985, a cyclone struck the Bay of Bengal, killing 1,400 people in Bangladesh.

In 1991, a Lauda Air Boeing 767-300 exploded over Thailand after takeoff, killing all 223 people on board.

In 1994, the United States and Vietnam resumed diplomatic relations.

Also in 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, were married in the Dominican Republic. They divorced two years later.

In 2003, a plane crash in Turkey killed all 74 aboard, including 62 Spanish soldiers returning from peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan.

In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was accelerating its nuclear program to become an exporter of nuclear fuel.

Also in 2007, a lightning strike during a fierce storm at a school in southwest China killed seven children and injured 39 others.

In 2008, the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report that Iran's suspected nuclear weapons research was a mystery, "a matter of serious concern."

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals judge, to the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed the retiring Justice David Souter. She was the first person of Hispanic ancestry nominated to the high court.

Also in 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage, cementing results of an earlier public referendum. The 18,000 same-sex couples married before the ban, however, were still regarded as married.

In 2010, a 110-country Gallup poll reported a 51 percent approval rating for U.S. leadership on the world stage in 2009, compared with 34 percent the year before. President Barack Obama also drew generally good marks, topped by 75 percent in 20 Saharan countries but still relatively low in the Middle East.

Also in 2010, the space shuttle Atlantis touched down at the Kennedy Space Center to end its final mission into space, 32nd flight over 25 years covering an estimated 120 million miles.

In 2011, Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general accused of directing the 1995 massacre of more than 8,000 Muslims, was arrested in Serbia and extradited to The Hague to face charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity.

Also in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that penalizes employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.


A thought for the day: "All that glitters is not gold" comes from John Dryden but a similar saying appeared earlier in Shakespeare and earlier still in Chaucer.

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