The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 10, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, May 10, the 130th day of 2006 with 235 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include British statesman and scholar James Bryce in 1838; Swiss theologian Karl Barth in 1886; Max Steiner, who composed musical scores for movies, including "Gone With The Wind" and "Casablanca," in 1888; actor/dancer Fred Astaire in 1899; movie producer David O. Selznick ("Gone With The Wind") in 1902; pediatrician/author T. Berry Brazelton in 1918 (age 88); actress Nancy Walker in 1921; actor Gary Owens ("Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In") in 1936 (age 70); and U2 lead singer Bono in 1960 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops and spent the next two years in prison.

In 1869, the "golden spike" was driven at Promontory, Utah, joining the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific lines to form the United States' first transcontinental railway.

In 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, swinging 89 army divisions around France's so-called "impregnable" Maginot Line. Scarcely one month later, German forces entered Paris.

In 1973, a federal grand jury investigating the Watergate scandal indicted former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans on perjury charges.

In 1984, a federal judge in Utah found the U.S. government negligent in above-ground Nevada nuclear tests from 1951 to 1962 that exposed downwind residents to radiation.

In 1992, at least 14 coal miners were killed in an underground explosion at a mine in Nova Scotia, Canada.

In 1993, in Orlando, Fla., jury selection began in the racially charged retrial of William Lozano, the Hispanic Miami police officer charged with killing two black motorcyclists.

Also in 1993, the FDA approved the sale of the first female condom.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president.

Also in 1994, the Michigan Court of Appeals struck down the state's ban on assisted suicide.

And in 1994, John Wayne Gacy, the convicted killer of 33 young men and boys, was executed in Illinois.

In 1995, a second man, Terry Nichols, was charged in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh earlier had been charged in the case.

Also in 1995, the World Health Organization said a mysterious disease in Zaire was caused by the deadly Ebola virus. By the time the outbreak was declared over in late August, 244 of the 315 known victims had died.

In 2000, Pentagon officials said an investigation had concluded that the U.S. Army's highest-ranking woman had been the victim of sexual harassment from another Army general.

In 2002, former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who had spied for the Soviet Union and Russia for more than 20 years, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

In 2003, a record outburst of tornadoes in the Midwest and South over the past few days claimed 48 lives, injured hundreds and leveled hundreds of buildings. The total of 400 twisters was twice the previous U.S. weekly record.

In 2004, U.S. Army forces leveled the Baghdad headquarters of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and killed 35 of his people.

In 2005, the U.S. Secret Service said it was investigating reports a hand grenade was found about 100 feet from where U.S. President George W. Bush spoke in the former Soviet state of Georgia. It later turned out to be a harmless training device.

Also in 2005, Jordanian authorities reportedly confiscated copies of the controversial bestseller, "The Da Vinci Code," for slandering Christianity,

A thought for the day: in "Don Juan," George Gordon Byron wrote, "Adversity is the first path to truth."

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