The Almanac

By United Press International  |  June 2, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, June 2, the 153rd of 2006 with 212 to follow.

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 the first U.S. first lady Martha Washington, in 1732; French writer Marquis de Sade in 1740; English novelist Thomas Hardy in 1840; English composer Edward Elgar ("Pomp and Circumstance") in 1857; Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper in 1890; Olympic gold-medal swimmer and "Tarzan" movie star Johnny Weissmuller in 1904; actor-composer Max Showalter in 1917; astronaut Charles Conrad of Apollo XII in 1930 (age 76); actress Sally Kellerman in 1937 (age 69); drummer Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones in 1941 (age 65); actors Stacy Keach in 1941 (age 65) and Charles Haid in 1943 (age 63); composer Marvin Hamlisch in 1944 (age 62); actor Jerry Mathers ("Leave It to Beaver") in 1948 (age 58); actress Diana Canova ("Soap") in 1953 (age 53); and comedian Dana Carvey in 1955 (age 51).

On this date in history:

In 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate armies of eastern Virginia and North Carolina in the Civil War.

In 1865, the Civil War came to an end when Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signed the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators.

In 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, the 21-year-old daughter of his former law partner, in a White House ceremony. The bride became the youngest first lady in U.S. history.

In 1924, Congress granted U.S. citizenship to all American Indians.

In 1946, in a national referendum, voters in Italy decided the country should become a republic rather than return to a monarchy.

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in London's Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II returned home to Poland in the first visit by a pope to a communist nation.

In 1992, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination as six states had the final primaries of the 1992 political season.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

In 1995, a U.S. F-16 fighter-jet was shot down by a Serb-launched missile while on patrol over Bosnia. The pilot, Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady, ejected safely and landed behind Serb lines. He was rescued six days later.

Also in 1995, Bosnian Serbs began releasing the 370 U.N. peacekeepers held hostage.

In 1997, a federal jury in Denver convicted Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. He was sentenced to death and subsequently executed.

In 1998, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky fired her lawyer, William Ginsburg, and retained two criminal lawyers. They would win her a grant of immunity from prosecution in return for her testimony before the grand jury investigating U.S. President Bill Clinton's alleged relationship with her.

In 1999, in parliamentary elections, South African voters kept the African National Congress in power, assuring that its leader, Thabo Mbeki, would succeed the retiring Nelson Mandela as president.

In 2003, the Federal Communications Commission, in a controversial decision, voted 3-2 to eliminate a rule barring a media company from owning both a TV station and a newspaper in the same market.

Also in 2003, U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said in a report that inspectors before the war had been unable to prove or disprove the presence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

And, the bishop of the Phoenix Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church agreed under threat of indictment to give county prosecutors an unprecedented and powerful role in the church's handling of complaints about sexual abuse by priests.

In 2004, exiled Iraqi leader Ahmed Chalabi, once a key figure in Washington as the nation prepared to go to war in Iraq, was reported under FBI investigation for allegedly tipping off Iran that its spy code had been broken.

In 2005, reports say a federal court has ordered the Pentagon to release photographs depicting abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

Also in 2005, Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners in the second move of its kind since Mahmoud Abbas became Palestinian Authority president.

A thought for the day: Charles Eliot declared that, "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers."

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