The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, April 23, the 113th day of 2005 with 252 to follow.

Passover begins at sundown.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include English playwright William Shakespeare, probably born on this date in 1564 (and died on this date in 1616); James Buchanan, 15th president of the United States, in 1791; Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 1891; novelist Vladimir Nabokov in 1899; actress/diplomat Shirley Temple Black in 1928 (age 77); singer Roy Orbison in 1936; actors Lee Majors and David Birney, both in 1940 (age 65), Herve Villechaize in 1943; and actresses Sandra Dee in 1942 (age 63), Joyce DeWitt in 1949 (age 56), Jan Hooks ("Saturday Night Live") in 1957 (age 48), Valerie Bertinelli in 1960 (age 45), and Melana Kanakaredes in 1967 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 1635, the first public school in America, the Boston Latin School, opened.

In 1898, the first movie theater opened at Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City.

In 1898, the U.S. government asked for 125,000 volunteers to fight against Spain in Cuba.

In 1941, at an "America First" rally in New York City, aviator Charles Lindbergh said, "It is obvious that England is losing the war." Lindbergh opposed U.S. entry into World War II.

In 1965, more than 200 U.S. planes struck North Vietnam in one of the heaviest raids of the Vietnam War.

In 1985, former Sen. Sam Ervin died at age 88. The North Carolina Democrat directed the Senate Watergate investigation that led to President Nixon's resignation.

In 1987, an apartment building under construction in Bridgeport, Conn., collapsed, killing 28 construction workers.

In 1990, the West German government bowed to East German demands and agreed to a 1-1 exchange rate between East and West marks, clearing the path to a planned currency union.

In 1991, Virgilio Pablo Paz Romero was arrested for the 1976 car-bomb murder of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier in Washington, D.C.

In 1992, former Washington Mayor Marion Barry was released from prison after serving a six-month term for cocaine possession.

And in 1992, McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Beijing, China.

In 1993, United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez died at age 66 of apparent natural causes.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II met at the Vatican with U.S. cardinals to discuss the sexual abuse scandal that had rocked the Roman Catholic clergy. He expressed an apology to victims of abuse, saying what had happened to them was a crime and "an appalling act in the eyes of God."

In 2003, North Korea, which two weeks earlier had pulled out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, met with U.S. officials to discuss the status of North Korea's weapons program.

Also in 2003, After a 10-day stalemate, Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat reached asgreement on a new cabinet with his choice for prime minister, Mahmoud Aggas.

In 2004, U.S. Marines killed about 30 insurgents in a fierce two-day firefight that began on this date outside Fallujah, Iraq.

A thought for the day: Douglas Adams observed, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be."

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