The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 2, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2006 with 243 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, in 1729; Gen. Henry Robert, author of "Robert's Rules of Order," in 1837; pioneer Zionist Theodor Herzl in 1860; Broadway composer Lorenz Hart in 1895; child care specialist Dr. Benjamin Spock in 1903; singer/actor Bing Crosby in 1904 and Theodore Bikel in 1924 (age 82); activist Bianca Jagger, ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, in 1945 (age 61); pop singer Leslie Gore in 1946 (age 60); country singer Larry Gatlin in 1949 (age 57); and actresses Christine Baranski in 1952 (age 54) and Jenna Von Oy ("Blossom") in 1977 (age 29).

On this date in history:

In 1519, Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist, scientist and inventor, died at age 67.

In 1611, a new translation of the Bible in England, popularly called the King James Bible after King James I, was published.

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own soldiers. He died eight days later.

In 1941, the Federal Communications Commission approved the regular scheduling of commercial television broadcasts.

In 1933, the modern legend of the Loch Ness monster surfaced when a sighting made the local news. There had been accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland's Loch Ness date back 1,500 years.

In 1972, 91 people were killed in a mine fire in Kellogg, Idaho.

Also in 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died after nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 1989, 60 Chinese students rode bicycles into Beijing to present demands for democratic reforms to Chinese leaders.

In 1993, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic signed an internationally mediated peace plan to end the Bosnian conflict. All three warring factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina had now accepted the peace plan. But the fighting continued.

Also in 1993, a U.S. pleaded guilty to murder charges in the 1992 beating death of a homosexual shipmate in a park restroom near Sasebo Naval Base in southwestern Japan.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the South African elections held in late April. He was inaugurated as the country's first black president eight days later.

Also in 1994, a Wayne County, Mich., jury acquitted "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian of violating a state law forbidding assisted suicides.

In 1995, the Clinton administration announced that Cuban boat people seeking asylum would be henceforth returned to Cuba.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton vetoed a cap on punitive damage awards.

In 1997, the White House and congressional negotiators reached an agreement intended to balance the federal budget by 2002.

In 1999, a meeting between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic led to the release of three U.S. soldiers captured a month earlier by Serbian troops.

Also in 1999, Denver's John Elway, the NFL's all-time winningest starting quarterback, announced his retirement.

In 2002, Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution supporting Israel's latest military operations against the Palestinians.

Also, Israeli forces pulled out of the West Bank city of Ramallah allowing Yasser Arafat to leave his compound.

In 2003, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down parts of the campaign finance reform law approved by Congress the previous year.

Also in 2003, India announced it was restoring diplomatic relations and transportation connections with Pakistan. Pakistan reciprocated a few days later.

In 2004, Thomas Hamill, a U.S. civilian employee of a Halliburton subsidiary working in Iraq, escaped from his rebel captors after three weeks in captivity.

Also in 2004, Nigerian Christian militants attacked the Muslim town of Yelwa with firearms and machetes. The Nigerian Red Cross put the death toll at 630.

In 2005, U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England pleaded guilty to seven counts related to alleged mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Also in 2005, Pakistani forces said they had captured a man believed to be the third-ranking leader in the al-Qaida terrorist network.

A thought for the day: Anatole France said, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

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