The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 31, 2004 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, May 31, the 152nd day of 2004 with 214 to follow.

This is observed as Memorial 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 Gemini. They include poet Walt Whitman and surgeon William Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, both in 1819; radio humorist Fred Allen in 1894; clergyman-author Norman Vincent Peale in 1898; actor Don Ameche in 1908; Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash., in 1912; Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1923 (age 81); actor Clint Eastwood in 1930 (age 74); Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow in 1938 (age 66); country singer Johnny Paycheck in 1941; NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and actress Sharon Gless ("Cagney and Lacey"), both in 1943 (age 61); actors Tom Berenger and Gregory Harrison, both in 1950 (age 54), and Kyle Secor ("Homicide: Life on the Street") in 1958 (age 46); actor/writer Chris Elliot in 1960 (age 44); actress Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City") in 1961 (age 43); and actress/model Brooke Shields in 1965 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 1790, President Washington signed into law the first U.S. copyright law.

In 1889, a flood in Johnstown, Pa., left more than 2,200 people dead.

In 1902, Britain and South Africa signed a peace treaty ending the Boer War.

In 1962, Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of six million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.

In 1973, the Senate voted to cut off all funds for U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

In 1985, seven federally insured banks in Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It was a single-day record for closings since the FDIC was founded in 1934.

In 1990, President Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened a four-day summit in Washington, D.C., focusing on the role of a united Germany in Europe.

Also in 1990, "Seinfeld" -- the show about nothing -- premiered on NBC.

In 1991, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney announced the United States had begun storing military supplies in Israel for use in future conflicts.

In 1994, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., was indicted on felony charges, including embezzlement. Under the rules of the Democratic caucus, he had to step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

In 2003, Eric Robert Rudolph, the long-sought fugitive charged in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic park bombing and attacks on abortion clinics and a gay nightclub, was arrested while rummaging through a dumpster in western North Carolina.

Also in 2003, President George W. Bush flew to Poland on the first leg of a European and Mideast trip aimed at strengthening relations in Europe and promoting a "road map" peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

A thought for the day: Tolstoy said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."

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