The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 29, 2002 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, March 29, the 88th day of 2002 with 277 to follow.

This is Good Friday.

The moon is waning, moving toward its last 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 John Tyler, 10th president of the United States, in 1790; baseball pitcher Cy Young in 1867; Eugene McCarthy, the Minnesota Democrat whose 1968 presidential campaign focused U.S. opposition to the Vietnam War, in 1916 (age 86); actress/singer Pearl Bailey, and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, both in 1918; former British Prime Minister John Major and actor Eric Idle, both in 1943 (age 59); former pro basketball player Walt Frazier in 1945 (age 57); Karen Ann Quinlan, who became the focus of arguments over the "right to die" when she fell into an irreversible coma, in 1954; gymnast Kurt Thomas in 1956 (age 46); actors Christopher Lambert in 1957 (age 45) and Lucy Lawless in 1968 (age 34); and tennis player Jennifer Capriati in 1976 (age 26).

On this date in history:

In 1812, the first wedding was performed in the White House. Mrs. Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of President James Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Dodd.

In 1971, Lt. William Calley was found guilty in the murder of 22 civilians in Vietnam, during what was known as the "My Lai" massacre.

Also in 1971, cult leader Charles Manson and three followers were sentenced to death in the Tate-Labianca slayings in Los Angeles. The death sentence was later found to be unconstitutional, and the four were re-sentenced to life in prison.

In 1973, the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam and the last American prisoners of war acknowledged by the North Vietnamese government were freed.

In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations released its final report on the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1991, six-time Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti quit, paving the way for the country's 50th government since World War II.

In 1992, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton admitted he tried marijuana once or twice in England, but didn't like it.

In 1993, "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood's gritty western, won the best picture and best director Oscars, but no single film scored a sweep of the 65th annual Academy Awards.

In 1994, the Bosnian Serbs stepped up their bombardment of Gorazde, 35 miles southeast of Sarajevo and one of the U.N-designated "safe areas."

Also in 1994, Jimmy Johnson, coach of the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, resigned, in part because of a disagreement over who deserved credit for the Cowboys' success: Johnson or team owner Jerry Jones.

In 1995, the House rejected legislation that would've limited how long members of Congress could serve.

In 1996, the House Ethics Committee said Speaker Newt Gingrich violated House rules by having close dealings with a wealthy GOP giver who had business interests affected by congressional legislation. It was the third time in two months the panel had notified Gingrich that he'd broken the rules.

In 1997, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian in a confrontation triggered by preparations to build another Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem.

In 1999, the Connecticut Huskies won their first NCAA men's basketball championship, beating the Duke Blue Devils, 77-74.

In 2000, Cuba's Fidel Castro announced that the father of 6-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez was ready to fly to the United States to take custody of his son.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

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