Today is Saturday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2014 with 263 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include American statesman Henry Clay in 1777; opera singer Lily Pons in 1898; author Beverly Cleary in 1916 (age 98); actor/dancer Ann Miller in 1923; singer Tiny Tim in 1932; jazz keyboard player Herbie Hancock in 1940 (age 74); actor Ed O'Neill in 1946 (age 68); author Tom Clancy in 1947; entertainer David Letterman and actor Dan Lauria, also in 1947 (age 67); writer Scott Turow in 1949 (age 65); actor/singer David Cassidy in 1950 (age 64); musician Pat Travers and writer Jon Krakauer, both in 1954 (age 60); actor Andy Garcia in 1956 (age 58); country singer Vince Gill in 1957 (age 57); and actors Shannen Doherty in 1971 (age 43) and Claire Danes and Jennifer Morrison, both in 1979 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1861, the Civil War began when Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter, S.C.
In 1935, "Your Hit Parade" premiered on radio.
In 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest-serving president in U.S. history, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Warm Springs, Ga., three months into his fourth term. About 3 hours later, Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in as chief executive.
In 1955, U.S. health officials announced that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was "safe, potent and effective."
In 1961, the Soviet Union launched the first manned spacecraft. (Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth and return safely.)
In 1981, the Columbia was launched on the first U.S. space shuttle flight.
In 1993, NATO warplanes began enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was overthrown in a military coup. (He was returned to office two days later riding a wave of public sentiment.)
In 2003, Gen. Amir al-Saadi, Saddam Hussein's top science adviser, denied Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction and surrendered to U.S. forces.
In 2007, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whose novels such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" resonated with a generation, died in New York at the age of 84.
In 2009, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued an American ship captain, Richard Phillips, held hostage by pirates off the Somalia coast, by killing three of the kidnappers four days after the standoff began.
In 2012, North Korea, defying international warnings, fired a long-range test rocket but the launch ended in failure. U.S. officials said the rocket broke up and fell into the sea.
In 2013, John Berry ended a four-year term as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
A thought for the day: "Before you hate something you should try to understand it." -- Martha Grimes