The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 27, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 27, the 86th day of 2006 with 279 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include printmaker Nathaniel Currier, of Currier and Ives, in 1813; German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays, in 1845; schoolteacher Patty Smith Hill, who wrote the words for "Happy Birthday to You," in 1868; photographer Edward Steichen in 1879; architect Mies van der Rohe in 1886; actress Gloria Swanson in 1899; jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1924; actor Michael York in 1942 (age 64); filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in 1963 (age 43); and singer Mariah Carey in 1970 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev replaced Nikolai Bulganin as premier of the Soviet Union.

In 1964, a powerful earthquake in Alaska killed 117 people. It was the strongest quake ever to hit North America.

In 1977, two Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided and exploded in flames on a foggy runway in the Canary Islands, killing 577 people in the worst aviation disaster in history.

In 1980, a Norwegian oil platform capsized during a storm in the North Sea, killing 123 people.

In 1990, Soviet soldiers dragged Lithuanian army deserters from a hospital in Vilnius and took over the headquarters of Lithuania's independent Communist Party in an effort to reassert Moscow's control over the dissident Baltic republic.

In 1992, an appeals court in West Palm Beach, Fla., refused to declare dead a baby girl born without a brain, despite her parents' anguished plea to allow her vital organs to be donated to help save other infants.

In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Yigal Amir of assassinating Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and sentenced him to life in prison.

In 1998, Russia got a new premier when President Boris Yeltsin nominated Sergei Kiriyenko, 35, to replace fired Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a campaign finance reform bill into law.

Also in 2002, a suicide bomber killed himself and 19 Israelis attending a Passover meal at a hotel in Netanya. More than 100 others were injured.

In 2003, President George W. Bush, seeking to calm concerns that the war in Iraq is proving tougher than expected after its first week, said the United States and Britain will battle Saddam Hussein's forces "however long it takes to win."

Also in 2003, health officials said 1,408 people in 14 countries had been stricken with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and 53 had died, including at least 34 in China.

In 2004, NASA reported its unmanned experimental hypersonic plane reached about 5,000 mph in a test flight -- more than seven times the speed of sound.

In 2005, ailing Pope John Paul II appeared at his apartment window before an Easter crowd in St. Peter's Square but was unable to speak. He silently blessed thousands of pilgrims who wept and cheered.

Also in 2005, about 1 million chanting demonstrators converged on Taiwan's capital to protest China's Anti-Secession Law.

A thought for the day: Eden Phillpotts said, "The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."

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