The Almanac

By United Press International  |  April 7, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, April 7, the 97th day of 2006 with 268 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 missionary St. Francis Xavier in 1506; English poet William Wordsworth in 1770; gossip columnist Walter Winchell in 1897; conductor Percy Faith in 1908; singer Billie Holiday in 1915; sitar player Ravi Shankar in 1920 (age 86); actor James Garner in 1928 (age 78); former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, in 1931 (age 75); actor Wayne Rogers in 1933 (age 73); former California Gov. Jerry Brown Jr., in 1938 (age 68); film director Francis Ford Coppola and British TV personality David Frost, both in 1939 (age 67); former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in 1944 (age 62); musician John Oates in 1949 (age 57); actor/marital arts expert Jackie Chan in 1954 (age 52); and actor Russell Crowe in 1964 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In A.D. 30, by many scholars' reckoning, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem.

In 1862, Union forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at Shiloh, Tenn.

In 1947, millions of Americans were left without telephone service by a nationwide strike. It lasted 23 days.

In 1953, Swedish statesman Dag Hammarskjöld was elected secretary-general of the United Nations. He served until his death in a 1961 plane crash.

In 1983, crewmen of the shuttle Challenger performed a spacewalk, the first by U.S. astronauts in nine years.

In 1990, former national security adviser John Poindexter, the last of the original Iran-Contra defendants, was convicted on felony charges in the worst scandal of the Reagan presidency.

Also in 1990, suspected arson fires aboard the ferry Scandinavian Star killed at least 75 people in Scandinavia's worst post-war maritime disaster.

And in 1990, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati and its director were indicted on obscenity and child pornography charges for displaying a controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit.

In 1991, the United States began airlifting food, water and medical gear to Kurdish refugees at the Iraq-Turkish border.

In 2001, rioting erupted in Cincinnati after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.

In 2003, a speaker purported to be terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, in a taped message, called on his Islamic supporters to seek martyrdom through suicide attacks on Americans and Britons.

In 2004, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against New York state, challenging the constitutionality of the state's law prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Also in 2004, a Palestinian Cabinet minister accused the United States of trying to interfere in Palestinian affairs with its warning not to include Hamas in its unified leadership group.

In 2005, the popular painkiller Bextra was removed from the U.S. market and a warning was put on Celebrex after the Food and Drug Administration cautioned that similar prescription drugs could lead to risk of heart attack or stroke.

Also in 2005, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite Muslim, and Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish leader, were named prime minister and president, respectively, in the new Iraqi government.

A thought for the day: James A. LaFond-Lewis said, "The fearless are merely fearless. People who act in spite of their fear are truly brave."

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