The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 1, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, May 1, the 122nd day of 2004 with 244 to follow.

This is May Day.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus, Mercury and Pluto. The evening stars are Venus, Jupiter, Mars 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 88); television personality Jack Paar in 1918; author Joseph Heller in 1923 (age 81); Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1925 (age 79); and singers Sonny James in 1929 (age 75); Judy Collins in 1939 (age 65), Rita Coolidge in 1945 (age 59), and Tim McGraw in 1967 (age 37).

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.

In 2003, President George W. Bush, speaking from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, declared that major combat in Iraq was over.

And, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the end of major U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

Also in 2003, an earthquake killed 176 in Turkey, including scores of children in a school dormitory.

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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