The Almanac

By United Press International   |   April 29, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, April 29, the 119th day of 2006 with 246 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 Taurus. They include publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1863; bandleader and composer Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington in 1899; Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1901; actress Celeste Holm in 1919 (age 87); English skiffle group leader Lonnie Donegan in 1931 (age 75); poet Rod McKuen in 1933 (age 73); symphony conductor Zubin Mehta in 1936 (age 70); long-distance runner and U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan.; and golfer Johnny Miller, both in 1947 (age 59); auto racer Dale Earnhardt in 1951; comedians Nora Dunn ("Saturday Night Live") in 1952 (age 54) and Jerry Seinfeld in 1954 (age 52); actors Kate Mulgrew ("Star Trek: Voyager") in 1955 (age 51), Daniel Day-Lewis in 1957 (age 49) and Michelle Pfeiffer and Eve Plumb ("The Brady Bunch"), both in 1958 (age 48); and tennis player Andre Agassi and actress Uma Thurman, both in 1970 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1864, Ashmun Institute in Pennsylvania, the first college founded solely for African-American students, was officially chartered.

In 1885, women were admitted for the first time to examinations at England's Oxford University.

In 1913, Gideon Sundbach of Hoboken, N.J., was issued a patent for the zipper.

In 1945, U.S. troops liberated 32,000 prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany.

In 1985, four gunmen escaped with nearly $8 million in cash stolen from the Wells Fargo armored car company in New York.

In 1986, an arson fire destroyed more than 1 million books in the Los Angeles Central Library.

In 1988, the first condor conceived in captivity was born at San Diego Wild Animal Park.

In 1991, more than 100 people were killed when an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale rocked Soviet Georgia, destroying hospitals, schools, factories and 17,000 homes.

In 1992, rioting erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted four white police officers of nearly all charges in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Fifty-three people died in three days of unrest.

Also in 1992, a Sarasota, Fla., judge denied custody rights to the biological parents of a 13-year-old girl, ruling she should remain with the man who raised her since the 1978 hospital mix-up of infants.

In 1994, an estimated 250,000 Rwandans fleeing the fighting crossed the border into neighboring Tanzania in one day alone.

In 1997, a U.S. Army court-martial at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland convicted Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson of raping six women trainees. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In all, 12 instructors at Aberdeen were charged with sexual offenses.

In 1999, the Palestinians said they would not declare statehood on May 4, as previously announced.

In 2003, U.S. officials said the American military presence in Saudi Arabia would be virtually eliminated in the next few months, with all combat troops removed.

Also in 2003, a rare Southern earthquake near the Georgia-Alabama border rattled several states. There was no major damage reported.

In 2004, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney underwent more than three hours of questioning about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Neither was under oath and the session was not recorded.

Also in 2004, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that many of the bombings and other attacks in Iraq were being coordinated by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, according to a published report.

In 2005, U.S. spy agencies were reported to be convinced that North Korea had the capability to build missiles that could deliver nuclear weapons to targets in California.

Also in 2005, at least 27 people were killed and 100 wounded as insurgents targeted Iraqi forces with bombs in a horrific three-hour melee in and near Baghdad.

A thought for the day: William Randolph Hearst reportedly said, "A politician will do anything to keep his job -- even become a patriot."

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