The Almanac

By United Press International  |  March 2, 2007 at 4:00 AM
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Today is Friday, March 2, the 61st day of 2007 with 304 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include statesman DeWitt Clinton, chief sponsor of the Erie Canal project, in 1769; Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas, in 1793; journalist, politician and reformer Carl Schurz in 1829; Pope Pius XII in 1876; publisher Max Schuster in 1897; German composer Kurt Weill in 1900; children's author "Dr. Seuss," Theodor Geisel, in 1904; entertainer Desi Arnaz in 1917; actors Jennifer Jones in 1919 (age 88) and John Cullum in 1930 (age 77); former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1931 (age 76); authors Tom Wolfe in 1931 (age 76) and John Irving in 1942 (age 65); singer Karen Carpenter in 1950; comedian Laraine Newman ("Saturday Night Live") in 1952 (age 55), and rock singer Jon Bon Jovi in 1962 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1836, Texas proclaimed its independence from Mexico.

In 1925, the first system of interstate highway numbering was introduced in the United States.

In 1943, in the Battle of Bismarck Sea, U.S. warplanes attacked a Japanese convoy en route to New Guinea in the South Pacific, eventually blocking Japan's attempt to send in reinforcements.

In 1945, toward the close of World War II, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.

In 1949, a U.S. Air Force plane piloted by Capt. James Gallagher completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight in just more than 94 hours.

In 1981, the United States announced it was sending 20 military advisers and $25 million in equipment to El Salvador.

In 1990, more than 6,000 drivers and thousands of other employees went on strike against Greyhound, the only nationwide intercity bus line.

In 1991, Yugoslavia's federal army was sent to Croatia to protect Serbs after violence erupted between Croatian security forces and villagers.

In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush vetoed a bill linking improvements in human rights to continued most-favored-nation trade status for China.

In 1993, six youngsters were killed as gunmen opened fire at point-blank range on a truck transporting school children in South Africa's strife-torn Natal province.

In 1994, the Mexican government reached a tentative agreement with the Zapatista National Liberation Army, which had launched a rebellion in January in Chiapas.

In 1997, a state of emergency was declared in Albania amid public unrest triggered by the collapse of pyramid funds in which many people had invested.

In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush said he was setting up a committee to explore a run for the White House.

In 2000, the British government abruptly dropped extradition proceedings against former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who had been under house arrest in London for 16 months as Spain sought to try him for crimes committed during his regime.

Also in 2000, a longtime political fundraiser for U.S. Vice President Al Gore was convicted for arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations in 1996.

In 2004, John Kerry locked up the Democratic presidential nomination with a series of primary victories.

Also in 2004, at least 125 people died in explosions at two Shiite shrines in Iraq.

In 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to scrutinize spending and taxes to help solve the problem of federal budget deficits that he called "unsustainable."

In 2006, the U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to a long-term extension of the Patriot Act, after settling disputes over privacy rights of U.S. citizens. The law had been enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Also in 2006, the United States and India announced agreement on a plan to allow India to buy U.S. nuclear fuel and reactor components. India in return reportedly would separate military and civilian nuclear programs and allow inspections.

A thought for the day: Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face."

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