The Almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, May 28, the 149th day of 2004 with 217 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 British statesman William Pitt in 1759; naturalist Louis Agassiz in 1807; Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe in 1888; British novelist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in 1908; biologist and politician Barry Commoner in 1917; actress Carroll Baker in 1931 (age 73); Annette and Cecile Dionne, surviving members of Canada's Dionne quintuplets, in 1934, (age 70); singer Gladys Knight and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, both in 1944 (age 60); and actresses Sondra Locke in 1947 (age 57) and Christa Miller ("The Drew Carey Show") in 1964 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1798, Congress empowered President John Adams to recruit an American army of 10,000 volunteers.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was founded by famed naturalist John Muir.

In 1934, the Dionne sisters, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, Maria and Annette, first documented set of quintuplets to survive in history, were born near Callander, Ontario, and soon became world famous. Emilie died in 1954, Maria in 1970 and Yvonne in 2001.

In 1961, Amnesty International was founded in London by lawyer Peter Berenson.

In 1987, West German Mathias Rust, 19, flew a single-engine plane from Finland through Soviet radar and landed beside the Kremlin in Moscow. Three days later, the Soviet defense minister and his deputy were fired.

In 1988, Syrian troops moved into southern Beirut to end 22 days of fighting between rival Shiite Moslem militias.

In 1991, NATO agreed to reorganize its forces in Europe, with a 50-percent cut in U.S. troops in Europe.

In 1992, Anthony "Big Tuna" Accardo, a former Al Capone gunman who later was labeled America's No. 1 mobster, died of natural causes at age 86.

In 1993, President Clinton renewed China's most-favored-nation trade status for one year.


Also in 1993, former Miami police officer William Lorenzo was acquitted in the 1989 deaths of a black motorcyclist and his passenger. The killings had sparked rioting, but the verdict caused only sporatic violence.

In 1995, Bosnia's foreign minister and five other people were killed when Serb forces downed their helicopter.

In 1996, Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former business associates of President Clinton were convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with Whitewater loans. Tucker resigned.

In 1998, Pakistan conducted five underground nuclear tests, prompting President Clinton to impose economic sanctions against the Asian nation.

Also in 1998, in a first, digitized pictures taken by the Hubbell Space Telescope seemed to show an image of a planet outside the solar system. The planet circled two stars in the constellation Taurus.

In 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori easily won the runoff election but nationwide demonstrations against him continued, and he would resign in September.

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law his modified tax reduction plan which, among other things, lowered the tax rate for upper and middle income taxpayers and trimmed rates on capital gains and dividends.

Also in 2003, a spokesman for al-Qaida told an Arabic-language magazine the terror network wanted to poison the U.S. water supply.


A thought for the day: Ambrose Bierce defined painting as "The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic."

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