Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2003 with 258 to follow.
The moon is waning.
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 industrialist and financier J.P. Morgan in 1837; Danish author Baroness Karen Blixen ("Out of Africa"), who wrote under the name Isak Dinesen, in 1885; Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1894; novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder in 1897; actor William Holden in 1918; television journalist Harry Reasoner in 1923; music promoter Don Kirshner in 1934 (age 69); and actress Olivia Hussey in 1951 (age 52).
On this date in history:
In 1421, the sea broke the dikes at Dort, Holland, drowning an estimated 100,000 people.
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church after refusing to admit to charges of heresy.
In 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano discovered New York Habor.
In 1790, American statesman, printer, scientist, and writer Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at age 84.
In 1961, a force of anti-Castro Cuban rebels began what was to end as the ill-fated "Bay of Pigs" attempt to overthrow Cuba's new communist government.
In 1964, Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo flight around the world.
In 1970, with the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returned to Earth.
In 1989, the Polish labor union Solidarity was granted legal status after nearly a decade of struggle and suppression, clearing the way for the downfall of Poland's Communist Party.
In 1991, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 3,000 for the first time, at 3004.46. Experts hailed it as forecasting an end to the recession.
In 1993, a federal court jury convicted two Los Angeles police officers of violating Rodney King's civil rights in the black motorist's 1991 arrest and beating. Two other officers were acquitted.
In 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced that former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, would lend him the money to pay his fines after the Georgia Republican admitting to using tax-exempt donations for political activities.
In 2000, with an eye toward China, the Clinton administration decided not to sell Taiwan all the weapons it had requested.
In 2001, Mississippi voters, by a 2-1 margin, decided to keep their state flag, which includes the Confederate battle cross in the upper left-hand corner.
A thought for the day: Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."