The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 1, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, May 1, the 121st day of 2003 with 244 to follow.

This is May Day.

The moon is new.

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 Taurus. The include Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, in 1769; American labor leader Mary Harris "Mother" Jones in 1830; U.S. Gen. Mark Clark in 1896; singer Kate Smith in 1909; actor Glenn Ford in 1916 (age 87); television personality Jack Paar in 1918 (age 85); author Joseph Heller in 1923 (age 80); Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1925 (age 78); and singers Sonny James in 1929 (age 74); Judy Collins in 1939 (age 64), Rita Coolidge in 1945 (age 58), and Tim McGraw in 1967 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1884, construction began on the world's first skyscraper -- the 10-story Home Insurance Company building -- in Chicago.

In 1893, President Grover Cleveland opened the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

In 1855, nationally known feminist Lucy Stone married Henry Blackwell. The word "obey" was omitted from their wedding vows.

In 1898, during the Spanish-American war, Adm. George Dewey routed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines.

In 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City. It remained the world's tallest building for 40 years.

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers, who was captured.

In 1963, James Whittaker of Redmond, Wash., became the first American to reach the summit of Mount. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

In 1971, Amtrak, the national passenger rail service that combined the operations of 18 passenger railroads, went into service.

In 1992, President Bush ordered 4,000 military troops into the riot-ravaged streets of Los Angeles.

In 1993, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and others in his entourage were killed in a suicide bomb blast.

In 1997, 18 years of Conservative Party rule in Great Britain ended with a Labor Party victory in elections, which allowed party leader Tony Blair to succeed John Majors as prime minister.

In 1999, Charismatic, a 31-1 long shot, won the 125th Kentucky Derby in Louisville. It was the third highest payoff in Derby history.

In 2000, Time Warner yanked ABC-owned TV channels from several of its cable systems in a dispute about payments with Disney, which owns ABC. Public outrage forced Time Warner to restore the network's signal a day later.

In 2001, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan was convicted in state court in Birmingham, Ala., in the 1963 bombing of a church that killed four black girls. He would be sentenced to four life sentences.

A thought for the day: "Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon." E.M. Forster said that.

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