The Almanac

By United Press International  |  May 29, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, May 29, the 147th day of 2006 with 216 to follow.

This is Memorial Day.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include King Charles II of England in 1630; patriot Patrick Henry in 1736; Ebenezer Butterick, inventor of the tissue paper dress pattern, in 1826; English novelist G.K. Chesterton in 1874; movie composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold in 1897; entertainer Bob Hope in 1903; John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, in 1917; actors Anthony Geary ("General Hospital") in 1948 (age 58), Pam Grier in 1949 (age 57), Annette Bening in 1958 (age 48), Rupert Everett and Adrian Paul, both in 1959 (age 47), and Lisa Whelchel in 1963 (age 43) and singers Melissa Etheridge in 1961 (age 45) and Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls in 1975 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1453, Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Byzantine Empire, was captured by the Turks.

In 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne.

In 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 states to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1848, following approval by the territory's citizens, Wisconsin entered the Union as the 30th state.

In 1865, U.S. President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation giving a general amnesty to all who took part in the rebellion against the United States.

In 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.

In 1977, a flash fire swept through a nightclub in Southgate, Ky., killing 162 people and injuring 30.

In 1985, British soccer fans attacked Italian fans preceding the European Cup final in Brussels. The resulting stadium stampede killed 38 people and injured 400.

In 1987, film director John Landis and four other defendants were found innocent of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese child actors during the filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie."

In 1989, Chinese students in Tiananmen Square erected a 33-foot statue similar to the Statue of Liberty.

In 1990, renegade communist Boris Yeltsin was elected president of Russia.

In 1991, scientists from Emory University discovered the gene that causes fragile-X syndrome, an untreatable mental retardation.

In 1993, U.S. health officials announced that an unidentified disease with no known cause had taken 10 lives on or near the Navajo Reservation in the southwestern United States.

In 1996, in Israel's first selection of a prime minister by direct vote, Binyamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres to become leader of Israel. The margin of victory was less than 1 percent.

In 1997, Lt. Kelly Flinn, the Air Force's first female B-52 bomber pilot, was discharged following an investigation stemming from adultery charges.

The same day, the Army relieved Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis of his command of the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., because of an apparently "improper relationship" with a civilian nurse caring for his wife.

Also in 1997, Zaire rebel leader Laurent Kabila was sworn in as president of what was again being called the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2000, the Indonesian government placed former President Suharto under house arrest on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

In 2002, FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington might have been avoided if the FBI had acted on available information.

In 2003, comedian Bob Hope was honored by the White House on his 100th birthday with establishment of the Bob Hope Patriotism Award for those showing extraordinary love of country and devotion to the personnel of the U.S. armed forces.

Also in 2003, Microsoft agreed to pay AOL Time Warner $750 million to end a private antitrust suit brought by AOL's Netscape Communications.

In 2004, the World War II memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington. Some 70,000 veterans of that war were on hand.

Also in 2004, a residential compound in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, was invaded by four armed militants who killed 22 and wounded 25, mostly workers in the oil industry from several counties.

In 2005, U.S. and British aircraft doubled Iraq bombings in 2002 to try to provoke Saddam Hussein into war, reports say.

A thought for the day: Kafka wrote this in his diary: "I have hardly anything in common with myself."

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