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The Almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, April 7, the 98th day of 2004 with 268 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Pluto. The evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include missionary St. Francis Xavier in 1506; English poet William Wordsworth in 1770; gossip columnist Walter Winchell in 1897; conductor Percy Faith in 1908; singer Billie Holiday in 1915; sitar player Ravi Shankar in 1920 (age 84); actor James Garner in 1928 (age 76); former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, in 1931 (age 73); actor Wayne Rogers in 1933 (age 71); former California Gov. Jerry Brown Jr., in 1938 (age 66); film director Francis Ford Coppola and British TV personality David Frost, both in 1939 (age 65); German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder in 1944 (age 60); musician John Oates in 1949 (age 55); actor/marital arts expert Jackie Chan in 1954 (age 50); and actor Russell Crowe in 1964 (age 40).

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On this date in history:

In A.D. 30, by many scholars' reckoning, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem.

In 1862, Union forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at Shiloh, Tenn.

In 1947, millions of Americans were left without telephone service by a nationwide strike. It lasted 23 days.

In 1953, Swedish statesman Dag Hammarskjöld was elected secretary-general of the United Nations. He served until his death in a 1961 plane crash.

In 1983, crewmen of the shuttle Challenger performed a spacewalk, the first by U.S. astronauts in nine years.

In 1990, former national security adviser John Poindexter, the last of the original Iran-Contra defendants, was convicted on felony charges in the worst scandal of the Reagan presidency.

Also in 1990, suspected arson fires aboard the ferry Scandinavian Star killed at least 75 people in Scandinavia's worst post-war maritime disaster.

And in 1990, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and its director were indicted on obscenity and child pornography charges for displaying the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit.

In 1991, the United States began airlifting food, water and medical gear to Kurdish refugees at the Iraq-Turkish border.

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In 1992, a plane carrying P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat from Sudan was reported missing over the Libyan desert. He was later found after his plane made an emergency landing in a sandstorm.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council recommended the United Nations admit Macedonia under the provisional name "former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia."

In 2001, rioting erupted in Cincinnati after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.

In 2003, a speaker purported to be terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, in a taped message, called on his Islamic supporters to seek martyrdom through suicide attacks on Americans and Britons.

In 2003 sports, Syracuse defeated Kansas, 81-71, to win the NCAA national collegiate basketball championship.


A thought for the day: James A. LaFond-Lewis said, "The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave."

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