The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 12, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, March 12, the 71st day of 2003 with 294 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include pioneer automaker Clement Studebaker in 1831; New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs in 1858; actor/singer Gordon MacRae in 1921; novelist Jack Kerouac in 1922; union leader Lane Kirkland, also in 1922 (age 81); astronaut Wally Schirra in 1923 (age 80); playwright Edward Albee in 1928 (age 75); former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young in 1932 (age 71); singer/songwriter Al Jarreau in 1940 (age 63); actress Barbara Feldon in 1941 (age 62); singer Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 57); singer/songwriter James Taylor in 1948 (age 55); and former baseball player Darryl Strawberry in 1962 (age 41).

On this date in history:

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scouts of America troop in Savannah, Ga.

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began a campaign of civil disobedience against British rule in India.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the first of his Sunday evening "fireside chats" -- informal radio addresses from the White House -- to the American people.

In 1938, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Austria.

In 1947, in a speech to Congress, President Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for U.S. aid to countries threatened by communist revolution.

In 1963, the House of Representatives voted to grant former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill honorary U.S. citizenship.

In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration approved a nationwide test of a post-exposure AIDS vaccine developed by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk.

Also in 1990, Exxon pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $100 million fine in a $1.1 billion settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

And in 1990, Kuwait City reopened its port for the first time since the Persian Gulf War.

And in 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk introduced legislation to revise land tenure laws and end racial discrimination in land ownership.

In 1992, Jim and Tammy Bakker, who ran a multimillion-dollar television evangelism empire before he went to prison for fleecing his flock, announced they were divorcing.

In 1993, Defense Secretary Aspin recommended closing 31 more major military bases around the country.

Also in 1993, more than 250 people were killed when a wave of bombings rocked Bombay, India, the country's business capital.

In 1994, the Church of England ordained its first women priests.

In 1996, Republican president hopeful Bob Dole swept the Super Tuesday GOP primaries.

In 1999, the former Soviet allies -- the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland -- joined NATO.

In 2000, Pope John Pail II apologized for the errors of his church during the past 2,000 years.

In 2001, six people, including five Americans, were killed when an errant bomb from a U.S. Navy fighter jet exploded at an observation post in Kuwait.

In 2002, Andrea Pia Yates, who confessed to drowning her five children, was found guilty of capital murder by a Houston jury that recommended life in prison. She had pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

Also in 2002, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, speaking out after Israeli raids killed 31 Palestinians, declared that Israel must end its "illegal occupation" of Palestinian land. That night, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease fire.

And in 2002, the Boston archdiocese said it would have to sell church property, take out loans and seek donations from wealthy supporters to cover the $100 million in settlements of lawsuits against priests in sexual abuse cases.

A thought for the day: Andrew Young told Playboy magazine, "Once the Xerox copier was invented, diplomacy died."

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