The Almanac

By United Press International  |  June 4, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, June 4, the 155th day of 2006 with 210 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 George III, king of England during the Revolutionary War, in 1738; actress Rosalind Russell in 1912; opera singer Robert Merrill in 1919; actors Gene Barry in 1922 (age 84), Dennis Weaver in 1924 and Bruce Dern in 1936 (age 70); radio/TV host Dr. Ruth Westheimer in 1929 (age 77); singer Freddie Fender in 1937 (age 69); singer/actress Michelle Phillips in 1945 (age 61); actor Parker Stevenson in 1953 (age 53); singer El DeBarge in 1961 (age 45); and actors Scott Wolf ("Party of Five") in 1968 (age 38), Noah Wyle ("ER") in 1971 (age 35) and Angelina Jolie in 1975 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1784, a French woman, Marie Thible of Lyons, became the first women to fly in a hot-air balloon.

In 1896, Henry Ford wheeled his first car from a brick shed in Detroit and drove it around darkened streets on a trial run.

In 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded.

In 1940, the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk, France, was completed. A flotilla of small boats spent nearly a week re-crossing the English Channel to rescue nearly 350,000 British, French and Belgian troops from advancing German forces.

In 1944, Rome was liberated as the last of the German occupiers fled the Italian capital ahead of the U.S. 9th Army.

In 1972, black militant Angela Davis was acquitted of murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charges stemming from a California courtroom shootout in which a judge and three other people were killed.

In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Alabama minute-of-silence law as specifically fostering classroom prayer.

In 1989, in what became known as the Tiananmen Square massacre, hundreds of pro-democracy students were reported killed and thousands wounded as Chinese troops swept demonstrators from the square in Beijing.

In 1990, an Oregon woman, Janet Adkins, killed herself in Michigan using a "suicide machine" developed by "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian. She was the controversial retired pathologist's first "medicide" patient.

In 1991, Albania's Communist Cabinet resigned, ending 46 years of Communist rule.

In 1992, U.S. Postal officials announced that the young, 1950s-era Elvis Presley portrait was chosen overwhelmingly over the older, Las Vegas-style Elvis in a nationwide vote for a new postage stamp honoring "The King."

In 1994, Iran-Contra figure Oliver North won the Virginia Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He lost in the November general election.

In 1998, Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his part in the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Also in 1998, the five major nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain) renewed their appeal for India and Pakistan to stop development of nuclear arms and offered to help the two antagonists resolve their conflict over the Kashmir region.

In 1999, the Yugoslav government approved a plan, proposed by Finland and Russia and supported by the major Western nations, which would end NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

In 2000, two days of meetings between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended with no agreement on the proposed U.S. missile defense system.

In 2002, tensions eased between India and Pakistan which had appeared to be on the brink of nuclear war.

In 2003, Martha Stewart, the home decorating guru, was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and securities fraud in a dispute over a stock sale.

Also in 2003, Charles Taylor, president of Liberia, was indicted for war crimes.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush met in Rome with Pope John Paul II who reiterated Vatican opposition to the war in Iraq.

In 2005, the search continued in Aruba for Natalie Holloway, an 18-year-old Alabama high school senior who vanished five days earlier while on a vacation trip with fellow students. Witnesses said they saw her with three men the night she disappeared.

Also in 2005, the Covington Diocese in Kentucky said it has agreed to pay up to $120 million to more than 100 alleged victims of child molestation from the last 50 years.

A thought for the day: Oscar Wilde said, "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

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