The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 27, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2003 with 307 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1807; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1886; David Sarnoff, RCA board chairman and father of American television, in 1891; soprano Marian Anderson in 1897; novelist John Steinbeck in 1902; actress Joan Bennett in 1910; former Texas Governor John Connally in 1917; actors Joanne Woodward in 1930 (age 73), Elizabeth Taylor in 1932 (age 71), Howard Hesseman in 1940 (age 63) and Mary Frann in 1943; consumer activist Ralph Nader in 1934 (age 69); actor Adam Baldwin in 1962 (age 41); and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton in 1980 (age 23).

On this date in history:

In 1933, Adolf Hitler's Nazis set fire to the German parliament building in Berlin, blamed it on the communists, and made that an excuse to suspend German civil liberties and freedom of the press.

In 1942, opening salvos were fired in the Battle of the Java Sea, during which 13 American warships were sunk by the Japanese, who lost only two.

In 1964, the Italian government asked for suggestions on how to save the renowned 180-foot Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

In 1975, the House of Representatives passed a $21.3 billion anti-recession tax-cut bill.

In 1982, an Atlanta jury convicted Wayne Williams of murdering two of 28 young blacks who had been slain over a two-year period. Williams was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1990, the Soviet Parliament approved creation of U.S.-style presidential system that gave Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers and established direct popular elections for the post.

Also in 1990, a federal grand jury in Anchorage indicted Exxon Corp. and its shipping subsidiary over the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

In 1991, allied troops liberated Kuwait City.

Also in 1991, a 14-month investigation ended with the Senate Ethics Committee singling out Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., for discipline over dealings with S&L executive Charles Keating.

In 1992, Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her 60th birthday by closing Disneyland for an elaborate private party with her celebrity friends.

In 1994, the 17th Winter Olympic Games ended in Lillihammer, Norway.

In 1996, Steve Forbes won the Arizona Republican primary, while Bob Dole won the Dakotas.

In 1998, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8545.72, the first time it closed over 8500.

In 1999, Nigeria's transition to civilian rule was nearly completed with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military leader, as president.

A thought for the day: Marion Anderson, saying she'd forgiven the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for withdrawing its invitation to perform at its hall because she was black, said, "You lose a lot of time hating people."

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