The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 28, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 28, the 87th day of 2005 with 278 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Mercury and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include Russian author Maxim Gorky in 1868; brewers Frederick Pabst in 1836 and August Anheuser Busch Jr. in 1899; famed Hollywood agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar in 1907; Edmund Muskie, the 1968 Democratic vice-presidential candidate, in 1914; child star Freddie Bartholomew in 1924; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter administration national security adviser, in 1928 (age 77; actors Dirk Bogarde in 1921, Conchata Ferrell in 1943 (age 62), Ken Howard in 1944 (age 61) and Dianne Wiest in 1948 (age 57); and country singer Reba McEntire in 1954 (age 51).

On this date in history:

In 1797, Nathaniel Briggs was awarded a patent for the first washing machine.

In 1881, P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey merged their circuses to form "The Greatest Show on Earth."

In 1939, Madrid surrendered to the nationalist forces of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1968, the counterculture musical "Hair" opened on Broadway.

In 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, died in Washington at age 78.

In 1979, a failure in the cooling system at the nuclear power plant on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania caused a near-meltdown. It was the worst accident ever at an American civilian nuclear facility.

In 1991, just days before the 10th anniversary of the attempt on his life, former President Reagan endorsed a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases, reversing his earlier opposition.

In 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltsin survived an impeachment vote by the Congress of People's Deputies.

Also in 1993, French voters rejected the ruling Socialists and gave the conservative alliance a crushing majority in legislative elections.

In 1994, pre-election clashes between Zulu nationalists, the ANC and police claimed 53 lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 1996, Congress approved the presidential line-item veto.

In 1997, an Italian warship collided with an Albanian ship crowded with refugees, causing an undetermined number of deaths.

In 1999, Purdue won its first women's basketball championship, defeating Duke, 62-45. Its coach was the first black woman to coach a women's championship team.

In 2002, the Justice Department said it would seek the death penalty against Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged at the time as a co-conspirator in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In 2003, a Turkish student surrendered after hijacking an Istanbul-to-Ankara jetliner with about 200 people aboard. No one was hurt.

Also in 2003, the rousing musical "Chicago" won the Academy Award as best picture of 2002. Adrien Brody won the best actor award for his role in "The Pianist," Nicole Kidman won the best actress Oscar for " The Hours" and Roman Polanski was named best director for "The Pianist."

In 2004, more than 40 people were reported killed in a series of bombings and gun battles in the central Asian nation of Uzbekistan.

A thought for the day: Seneca wrote, "What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more."

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