The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 25, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, May 25, the 146th day of 2004 with 220 to follow.

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 Gemini. They include poet/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1803; dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in 1878; aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky in 1889; Yugoslavian leader (Josip Broz) Tito in 1892; humorist and publisher Bennett Cerf and heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney, both in 1898; actor Claude Akins in 1918; spy novelist Robert Ludlum in 1927 (age 77); opera singer Beverly Sills in 1929 (age 75); actors Dixie Carter and Ian McKellan, both in 1939 (age 65); singer/actress Leslie Uggams in 1943 (age 61); actresses Karen Valentine in 1947 (age 57) and Connie Selleca in 1955 (age 49); comedian Mike Myers in 1963 (age 41); and actress Anne Heche in 1969 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1787, the first regular session of the Constitutional Convention was held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

In 1935, winding up his legendary career with the Boston Braves, Babe Ruth hit his 714th and last home run in his final game. The home run record stood for 39 years until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.

In 1949, Chinese communist forces entered Shanghai as Nationalist troops abandoned the city and prepared to move to the island of Formosa, now called Taiwan.

In 1979, 275 people were killed when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed upon take-off from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. It was the deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil.

In 1986, 5 million people formed a broken 4000-mile human chain from Los Angeles to New York in Hands Across America, to benefit the nation's homeless. The event raised $24.5 million.

In 1990, President Bush called for more research into global warming.

In 1991, the United States reversed its decision to allow HIV-infected people to enter the country.

Also in 1991, Cuban soldiers withdrew from Angola after 16 years of fighting South Africa and U.S.-backed rebels.

In 1992, an Australian couple was awarded nearly $1 million for their wrongful convictions in the death of their infant daughter they said was taken by a dingo, or wild dog. The case was the subject of the film "A Cry in the Dark."

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to establish a war-crimes tribunal to deal with atrocities in the civil war in Bosnia.

In 1994, after living 20 years in exile, mostly in the United States, Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to his homeland. He had been expelled from the Soviet Union after "The Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison camp system, was published in the West in 1974.

In 1995, the level of tension in war-torn Bosnia increased dramatically when the Serbs began taking U.N. peacekeepers hostage, for use as human shields.

In 1997, mutinous soldiers seized power in Sierra Leone.

In 1999, a report by a House select committee on Chinese espionage said China had stolen information on the most advanced U.S. nuclear weapons.

In 2003, the Israeli cabinet, for the first time, officially accepted the Palestinian claim to eventual statehood.

In 2003 sports, Brazilian driver Gil de Ferrari won the Indianapolis 500 auto race by edging Helio Castroneves, the 2001 and 2002 winner, and a fellow Brazilian by 0.299 seconds.

A thought for the day: Oscar Wilde wrote, "Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing."

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