The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 27, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, May 27, the 147th day of 2003 with 218 to follow.

The moon is waning.

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 financier Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1794; social reformer Amelia Bloomer, for whom the undergarment was named, in 1818; poet Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the lyrics for "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," in 1819; financier and railroad developer Jay Gould in 1836; frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok in 1837; dancer Isadora Duncan in 1878; detective novelist Dashiell Hammett in 1894; Composer Harold Rome in 1908; Vice President Hubert Humphrey and actor Vincent Price, both in 1911; golfer Sam Snead in 1912; author Herman Wouk in 1915 (age 88); actor Christopher Lee in 1922 (age 81); former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1923 (age 80); jazz musician Ramsey Lewis and actress Lee Meriwether, both in 1935 (age 68); actors Lou Gossett Jr. in 1936 (age 67) and Bruce Weitz in 1943 (age 60); singer/songwriter Don Williams in 1939 (age 64); and actors Peri Gilpin ("Frasier") in 1961 (age 42), Todd Bridges ("Diff'rent Strokes") in 1965 (age 38) and Joseph Fiennes in 1970 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1703, Czar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as the new capital of Russia.

In 1930, Richard Gurley Drew received a patent for his adhesive tape, which was later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape.

In 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was opened. An estimated 200,000 people crossed it the first day.

In 1941, the British Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck 400 miles west of the French port of Brest.

In 1968, the U.S. nuclear submarine Scorpion disappeared in the Atlantic with 99 men aboard.

In 1988, the Senate voted 98-5 in favor of the U.S.-Soviet treaty to abolish intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

In 1990, Cesar Gaviria, 34, was elected president of Colombia after a campaign in which three candidates were killed. He vowed to make no deals with the cocaine cartels.

In 1992, hours after a Russian-brokered cease-fire went into effect in Bosnia, Serb guerrillas launched a surprise mortar bombardment on Sarajevo -- killing at least 20 people and injuring up to 160 more waiting in lines to buy bread.

In 1993, U.S. sailor Terry Helvey was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the October 1992 death of gay shipmate Allen Schindler in Sasebo, Japan.

Also in 1993, five people were killed when a car bomb exploded near an art gallery in Florence, Italy. A few paintings by relatively minor artists were destroyed but masterpieces by Botticelli and Michaelangelo survived.

In 1996, a ceasefire was signed in the rebellious Russian republic of Chechnya.

In 1997, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the leaders of NATO nations signed an agreement clearing the way for NATO expansion to the east.

In 1998, Michael Fortier, who'd testified against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in a plea bargain in which he admitted prior knowledge of the plot to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City.

In 1999, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosovic and four other Serbian leaders were indicted on murder and other war crimes. Milosovic went on trial in 2002 for war crimes.

A thought for the day: Longfellow wrote, "Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with great ambitions."

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