The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 23, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2003 with 222 to follow.

The moon is waning, in its last quarter.

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 Gemini. They include Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, the father of modern systematic botany, in 1707; Austrian physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer in 1734; social reformer Margaret Fuller in 1810; Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who later was a U.S. senator and for whom sideburns were named, in 1824; actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1883; bandleader Artie Shaw in 1910 (age 93); singer Helen O'Connell in 1920; singer Rosemary Clooney in 1928; actresses Barbara Barrie in 1931 (age 72) and Joan Collins in 1933 (age 70); Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, in 1934 (age 69); actor Charles Kimbrough ("Murphy Brown") in 1936 (age 67); and comedian Drew Carey in 1961 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1701, Capt. William Kidd was hanged in London for piracy and murder.

In 1900, Sgt. William H. Carney became the first black to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his efforts during the Battle of Fort Wagner, S.C., in June 1863.

In 1939, the U.S. Navy submarine "Squalus" went down off New Hampshire in 240 feet of water. 33 of the 59 men aboard were saved in a daring rescue with a diving bell.

In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and spirited him back to Israel, where he was tried, convicted and hanged.

In 1988, Maryland Gov. Donald Schaefer signed the nation's first law banning the manufacture and sale of cheap handguns, known as "Saturday Night Specials."

In 1990, presidential son Neil Bush, testifying before the House Banking Committee, denied any wrongdoing in the failure of a Colorado thrift, where he was a director, that cost taxpayers about $1 billion.

In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal regulations prohibiting federally funded women's clinics from discussing or advising abortion with patients.

In 1993, a jury in Baton Rouge, La., acquitted a man who said he was defending his home against what he thought was an intruder when he shot and killed 16-year-old Japanese exchange student Yoshihiro Hattori.

In 1994, four men convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

Also in 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest next to her first husband, President John F. Kennedy, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1995, a man with an unloaded handgun climbed over a fence and ran toward the White House. He was tackled by one Secret Service agent and shot and wounded by a second.

Also in 1995, what was left of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, site of the previous month's bombing that killed 169 people, was razed.

In 1997, Mohammed Khatami, a "moderate" who favored improved economic ties with the West, was elected president of Iran.

In 2002, President Bush began a European trip in which he defended his handling of the war on terrorism.

Also in 2002, Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee acknowledged paying $450,000 in church funds in response to a claim that he had sexually assaulted a graduate student, then 33. Weakland, 75, who retired after the 1998 settlement became known, denied any sexual misconduct.

A thought for the day: Lao-Tzu said, "A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step."

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