Today is Saturday, March 27, the 87th day of 2004 with 279 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Pluto. The evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include printmaker Nathaniel Currier, of Currier and Ives, in 1813; German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays, in 1845; schoolteacher Patty Smith Hill, who wrote the words for "Happy Birthday to You," in 1868; photographer Edward Steichen in 1879; architect Mies van der Rohe in 1886; actress Gloria Swanson in 1899; jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1924; actor Michael York in 1942 (age 62); filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in 1963 (age 41); and singer Mariah Carey in 1970 (age 34).
On this date in history:
In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev replaced Nikolai Bulganin as premier of the Soviet Union.
In 1964, a powerful earthquake in Alaska killed 117 people. It was the strongest quake ever to hit North America.
In 1977, two Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided and exploded in flames on a foggy runway in the Canary Islands, killing 577 people in the worst aviation disaster in history.
In 1980, a Norwegian oil platform capsized during a storm in the North Sea. 123 people died.
In 1990, Soviet soldiers dragged Lithuanian army deserters from a hospital in Vilnius and took over the headquarters of Lithuania's independent Communist Party in an effort to reassert Moscow's control over the dissident Baltic republic.
In 1992, an appeals court in West Palm Beach, Fla., refused to declare dead a baby girl born without a brain, despite her parents' anguished plea to allow her vital organs to be donated to help save other infants.
In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Yigal Amir of assassinating Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and sentenced him to life in prison.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a campaign finance reform bill into law.
Also in 2002, a suicide bomber killed himself and 19 Israelis attending a Passover meal at a hotel in Netanya. More than 100 others were injured.
In 2003, President George W. Bush, seeking to calm concerns that the war in Iraq is proving tougher than expected after its first week, said the United States and Britain will battle Saddam Hussein's forces "however long it takes to win."
Also in 2003, health officials said 1,408 people in 14 countries had been stricken with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and 53 had died, including at least 34 in China.
A thought for the day: Eden Phillpotts said, "The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."