The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 9, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, May 9, the 129th day of 2005 with 236 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 abolitionist John Brown in 1800; Scottish novelist Sir James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan," in 1860; Howard Carter, the egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, in 1873; industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in 1882; Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1883; TV journalist Mike Wallace in 1918 (age 87); tennis champion Richard "Pancho" Gonzalez in 1928; actor Albert Finney in 1936 (age 69); actress Glenda Jackson in 1937 (age 68); TV producer and filmmaker James L. Brooks in 1940 (age 65); former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 1942 (age 63); actress Candice Bergen in 1946 (age 59); and singer/songwriter Billy Joel in 1949 (age 56).

On this date in history:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

In 1926, Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.

In 1961, in a speech to TV bigwigs at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as "a vast wasteland."

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened its hearing on the possible impeachment of President Nixon.

In 1978, the body of former Italian minister Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.

In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT 2 nuclear arms treaty.

In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida's Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened seven years later, on April 30, 1987.

In 1987, 183 people died when a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw. The dead included 38 Americans.

In 1991, William Kennedy Smith, nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., was charged with the March 30 rape and assault of a woman at the Kennedy estate in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was later acquitted.

In 1992, Miss Namibia, a six-foot-tall model and masseuse, was crowned Miss Universe, the first ever from her country to win the beauty pageant.

In 1993, thousands of war veterans, politicians and anti-government demonstrators gathered across Moscow and the former Soviet Union to celebrate the World War II victory over Germany at Stalingrad.

In 1996, U.S. scientists announced they had found a protein without which the AIDS virus cannot fuse to human cells.

In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.

In 2003, U.S. and British intelligence officials interrogated a mid-level Iraqi intelligence agent who appeared to have detailed knowledge of assassination techniques using chemical and biological weapons.

Also in 2003, a well-connected Los Angeles socialite, Katrina Leung, who also allegedly acted as a double-agent for China, was formally charged with passing sensitive documents on to Chinese intelligence officers.

In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion at a stadium in Grozny where Russia's World War II victory was being celebrated. Thirty-one others also died in the blast.

A thought for the day: Benjamin Franklin said, "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other."

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