The Almanac

By United Press International  |  June 5, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, June 5, the 156th day of 2005 with 209 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include economist Adam Smith in 1723; Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in 1878; composer Igor Stravinsky in 1882; English economist John Maynard Keynes in 1883; actor William Boyd, who played Hopalong Cassidy, in 1898; author/illustrator Richard Scarry in 1919; actor Robert Lansing in 1929 (age 76); journalist/commentator Bill Moyers in 1934 (age 71); country singer Waylon Jennings in 1937 (age 68); novelist Margaret Drabble in 1939 (age 66); Welsh author Ken Follett in 1949 (age 56); rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg in 1971 (age 34); and actor Chad Allen ("Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman") in 1974 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1783, the first public demonstration of a hot-air balloon was held at Annonay, France

In 1933, President Roosevelt signed a bill abolishing the gold standard.

In 1967, the Six Day War began between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

In 1968, as he campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestine-born Arab. Kennedy, 42, died the next day.

In 1976, the Teton River Dam in Idaho collapsed as it was being filled for the first time, killing 14 people, flooding 300 square miles and causing an estimated $1 billion damage.

In 1985, General Motors agreed to buy Hughes Aircraft for more than $5 billion. At the time, it was the biggest corporate purchase outside the oil industry.

In 1986, Ronald Pelton, a former National Security Agency employee, was convicted in Baltimore of spying for the Soviet Union. The verdict came one day after former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage on behalf of Israel.

In 1991, in a step away from apartheid, South African legislators repealed the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, which reserved 87 percent of land for whites.

In 1992, on the 20th anniversary of the first U.N. environmental conference, Brazil and 11 other nations signed a controversial bio-diversity treaty setting guidelines for the protection and use of plant and animal species.

In 1993, 23 Pakistani members of the U.N. peacekeeping forces were killed in a series of attacks in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Also in 1993, 14 men charged in an Iraqi plot to kill former President Bush went on trial in Kuwait.

In 1998, ethnic Albanian delegates pulled out of peace talks with the Yugoslav republic of Serbia because of the ongoing crackdown by Serb police in the rebellious province of Kosovo.

In 1999, NATO and Yugoslav military officials began meeting at the Kosovo border to discuss terms for NATO's suspension of its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia.

In 2000, Ukraine officials announced that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the worst radiation accident in history, would be closed.

In 2003, The World Health Organization said the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, appeared to be fading.

Also in 2003, officials say U.S. troops will withdraw from the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, bringing an end to 50 years of guard duty.

And, a suicide bomber killed herself and 17 others at a bus stop in northern Russia near Chechnya.

In 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president, died at his Los Angeles home at the age of 93 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

In 2004 sports, previously unbeaten Smarty Jones, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, was denied horse racing's Triple Crown when upset in the Belmont Stakes by Birdstone.

A thought for the day: Whitney Griswold said, "Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. ... The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas."

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