The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 19, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, May 19, the 140th day of 2004 with 226 to follow.

The moon is new. 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. They include American-born Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman member of the British Parliament, in 1879; Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh in 1890; Black Muslim leader Malcolm X in 1925; playwright Lorraine Hansberry ("A Raisin in the Sun") in 1930; journalist Jim Lehrer in 1934 (age 70); actor/TV talk show host David Hartman in 1935 (age 69); actor James Fox in 1939 (age 65); author Nora Ephron in 1941 (age 63); British rock star Peter Townshend in 1945 (age 59); and actress/model/singer Grace Jones in 1952 (age 52).

On this date in history:

In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second of King Henry VIII's six wives and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was beheaded.

In 1588, the Spanish Armada, assembled to invade England, set sail from Lisbon.

In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, known as "Lawrence of Arabia," died in a motorcycle accident in England.

In 1964, it was revealed that American diplomats had found at least 40 secret microphones hidden in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In 1986, in the first direct talks between China and Taiwan in 37 years, Beijing agreed to return a cargo jet flown to the communist mainland by a defecting Nationalist pilot.

In 1992, President Bush ordered the creation of a human fetal tissue bank for medical research.

Also in 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle triggered a flap when he condemned CBS's "Murphy Brown" for having a child out of wedlock.

In 1993, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a new all-time record high -- 3,500.03.

Also in 1993, the White House announced that all seven staffers of the White House travel office had been dismissed in the so-called "Travel-gate" furor.

In 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died at age 64.

In 2003, President George W. Bush said the administration-backed "road map" for Middle East peace still stood despite a flurry of terrorist attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Also in 2003, the World Health Organization said Taiwan reported 70 new cases of SARS and five more deaths, making it the most rapidly growing outbreak at the time.

A thought for the day: Lots of people have written that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but the first person to write it in precisely those words was Margaret Wolfe Hungerford.

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