The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 11, 2002 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 11, the 70th day of 2002 with 295 to follow.

The moon is waning, moving toward its new phase.

The morning star is Mercury.

The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include silent movie actress Dorothy Gish in 1898; bandleader Lawrence Welk in 1903; former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1916; civil rights leader the Rev. Ralph Abernathy in 1926; media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1931 (age 71); television newsman Sam Donaldson in 1934 (age 68); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthonin Scalia in 1936 (age 66); musician Bobby McFerrin and filmmaker Jerry Zucker ("Airplane!," the "Naked Gun" movies), both in 1950 (age 52); author Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") in 1952; and actresses Alex Kingston ("ER") in 1963 (age 39) and Thora Birch in 1981 (age 21).

On this date in history:

In 1824, the U.S. War department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In 1845, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, died in Allan Co., Ind.

In 1888, more than 200 people died as a four-day snowstorm crippled New York City. It came to be known as the Blizzard of '88.

In 1918, the first cases of the "Spanish" influenza were reported in the United States. By 1920, the virus had killed as many as 22 million people worldwide, 500,000 in the United States alone.

In 1930, William Howard Taft became the first president of the United States to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

In 1941, the Lend-Lease Bill to help Britain survive attack by Germany was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt.

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, 54, succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the Lithuanian Parliament declared the Baltic republic free of the Soviet Union and called for negotiations to make secession a reality.

Also in 1990, Gen. Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president of Chile, making way for an elected civilian leader for first time since the 1973 coup.

In 1991, six Arab guerrillas were killed by Israeli troops during a two-hour gun battle near Tirat Zvi.

In 1992, five-time top contender Martin Buser won the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska in record time.

In 1993, Janet Reno won unanimous Senate approval to become the first female U.S. Attorney General.

In 1996, the Whitewater trial of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former associates of Bill and Hillary Clinton opened in Arkansas.

In 2001, one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history began with a 436.37-point, or 4.1 percent, decline in the Dow Jones industrial average. By week's end, all the major indexes were down six percent.

A thought for the day: President William Howard Taft said, "The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts."

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