Today is Thursday, March 21, the 80th day of 2002 with 285 to follow.
The moon is in its first quarter.
The morning star is Mercury.
The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include composer Johann Sebastian Bach in 1685; Mexican revolutionary and president Benito Juarez in 1806; Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1839; theatrical impresario Florenz Ziegfeld in 1869; English theatrical director Peter Brook in 1925 (age 77); and actors James Coco in 1930, Al Freeman Jr. in 1934 (age 68), Timothy Dalton in 1946 (age 56), Gary Oldman in 1958 (age 44), and Matthew Broderick in 1962 (age 40); and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, also in 1962 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1617, Pocahontas died in England at about age 22. Three years earlier, she had converted to Christianity, taken the name Rebecca and married Englishman John Rolfe.
In 1790, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia became the first U.S. secretary of state. He later was the third president of the United States.
In 1918, American and German soldiers fought the key World War I battle of the Somme.
In 1945, 7,000 Allied planes dropped more than 12,000 tons of explosives on Germany during a single World War II daytime bombing raid.
In 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pledged that Russia would cooperate with the United States in peaceful exploration of space. The joint American-Soviet Soyuz space mission was conducted in July 1975.
In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., began a four-day march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., to demand federal protection of voting rights.
In 1984, the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk collided with a nuclear-powered Soviet submarine in the Sea of Japan.
In 1991, L. William Seidman, chairman of the FDIC and Resolution Trust Corp., said his agency needed $70 billion to protect deposits from bank collapses.
In 1993, Russia plunged into its deepest political crisis since the August 1991 coup attempt following President Yeltsin's declaration of special rule by decree.
Also in 1993, seven more adults left the besieged Branch Davidian compound as federal authorities continued negotiations with cult leader David Koresh to end the standoff.
And in 1993, Nicaraguan rebels ended their 13-day seizure of the Nicaraguan Embassy, freeing the last 11 hostages under a deal that gave them asylum in the Dominican Republic.
In 1994, North Korea threatened to pull out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if the United States reverses its decision to hold military exercises with South Korea.
In 1996, European nations began banning British beef.
In 1997, a Palestinian bomber and three women died in an explosion in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In 1999, balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones landed near Cairo, Egypt, after becoming the first to circle the globe by balloon.
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the FDA never received congressional authority to regulate tobacco products.
A thought for the day: Thomas Jefferson advised, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."