The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Saturday, March 11, the 70th day of 2006 with 295 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include silent movie star Dorothy Gish in 1898; bandleader Lawrence Welk in 1903; former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1916; civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy in 1926; media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1931 (age 75); television newsman Sam Donaldson in 1934 (age 72); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 1936 (age 70); musician Bobby McFerrin and filmmaker Jerry Zucker ("Airplane!," the "Naked Gun" movies), both in 1950 (age 56); author Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") in 1952; and actresses Alex Kingston ("ER") in 1963 (age 43) and Thora Birch in 1981 (age 25).


On this date in history:

In 1824, the U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In 1845, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, died in Allan County, Ind.

In 1861, In Montgomery, Ala., delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopted the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

In 1888, more than 200 people died as a four-day snowstorm crippled New York City.

In 1918, the first cases of the "Spanish" influenza were reported in the United States. By 1920, the virus had killed as many as 22 million people worldwide, 500,000 in the United States alone.

In 1930, William Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery at Arlington, Va.

In 1941, the Lend-Lease Bill to help Britain survive attacks by Germany was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

In 1942, after struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur abandoned the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt, leaving behind 90,000 U.S. and Filipino troops.


In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, 54, succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the Lithuanian Parliament declared the Baltic republic free of the Soviet Union and called for negotiations to make secession a reality.

Also in 1990, Gen. Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president of Chile, making way for an elected civilian leader for first time since the 1973 coup.

In 1991, six Arab guerrillas were killed by Israeli troops during a two-hour gun battle near Tirat Zvi.

In 1992, five-time top contender Martin Buser won the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska in record time.

In 1993, Janet Reno won unanimous Senate approval to become the first female U.S. Attorney General.

In 1996, the Whitewater trial of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former associates of Bill and Hillary Clinton opened in Arkansas.

In 2001, one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history began with a 436.37-point -- 4.1-percent -- decline in the Dow Jones industrial average. By week's end, all the major indexes were down 6 percent.

In 2002, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney began visits to several countries to try to drum up support against Iraq.


In 2003, according to published reports, a six-man Arab ministerial committee planned to travel to Baghdad to ask Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to step down and go into exile.

In 2004, 10 bombs exploded almost simultaneously on four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people and injuring 1,400.

In 2005, an accused rapist allegedly grabbed a gun from a sheriff's deputy in an eighth-floor Atlanta courtroom and killed a judge, a court reporter and a deputy. A federal agent also was killed as the suspect, Brian Nichols, made his escape. Nichols surrendered the next day after holding a woman hostage overnight.

A thought for the day: President William Howard Taft said, "The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts."

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