The Almanac

By United Press International  |  April 12, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2003 with 263 to follow.

The moon is waxing.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include American statesman Henry Clay in 1777; opera singer Lily Pons in 1904; bandleader Lionel Hampton in 1909; singer Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury, in 1922; actress/dancer Ann Miller in 1923 (age 80); jazz keyboard player Herbie Hancock in 1940 (age 63); actor Ed O'Neill in 1946 (age 57); author Tom Clancy, talk show host David Letterman and actor Dan Lauria, all in 1947 (age 56); actor/singer David Cassidy in 1950 (age 53); actor Andy Garcia in 1956 (age 47); country singer Vince Gill in 1957 (age 46); and actresses Shannen Doherty in 1971 (age 32), and Claire Danes in 1979 (age 24).

On this date in history:

In 1861, the Civil War began when Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter, S.C.

In 1935, "Your Hit Parade" premiered on radio.

In 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving president in American history, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Warm Springs, Ga., three months into his fourth term.

About three hours later, Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in as chief executive.

In 1955, federal health officials announced that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was "safe, potent and effective."

In 1961, the Soviet Union launched the first manned spacecraft. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the earth and return safely.

In 1981, the first U.S. space shuttle flight was launched. The flight of Columbia was the first U.S. manned space mission since July 1976.

In 1990, under pressure from environmentalists, three top U.S. tuna canneries -- H.J. Heinz, Van Camp and Bumblebee -- announced "dolphin-safe" tuna-catching practices.

In 1992, the European Community announced that a cease-fire accord had been reached in Europe's newest nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a former Yugoslav republic. The truce did not last.

In 1993, NATO warplanes began enforcing a no-fly zone over embattled Bosnia-Herzegovina, marking the first time the alliance's forces were used outside its traditional defense area.

In 1994, Israel and the PLO agreed that 9,000 Palestinian police would be stationed in Jericho and the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military withdrawal.

In 1996, President Clinton named trade representative Mickey Kantor to succeed the late Ron Brown as secretary of commerce.

In 1999, a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., found President Clinton in contempt of court for lying during his sworn deposition in Jan. 1998, when he had testified that he had not had sexual relations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton -- who was fined $1,202, the cost of the judge's trip to Washington to preside over the deposition -- was the first sitting president ever to be held in contempt of court.

Also in 1999, the Clintons' Whitewater partner, Susan McDougal, was acquitted of obstruction of justice.

In 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell, after hearing European foreign ministers demand an immediate Israeli pullback from the West Bank, met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon but they failed to agree on a timetable for removing troops from the Palestinian territory.

Also in 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was overthrown in a military coup but was returned to office two days later riding a wave of public sentiment.

A thought for the day: Martha Grimes said, "We don't know who we are until we see what we can do."

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