The almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, March 3, the 63rd day of 2008 with 303 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include English poet Edmund Waller in 1606; industrialist George Pullman, inventor of the railway sleeping car, in 1831; telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell in 1847; U.S. Army Gen. Matthew Ridgway in 1895; movie star Jean Harlow in 1911; "Star Trek" actor James "Scotty" Doohan in 1920; Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in 1933 (age 75); former football star Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, and Olympic gold medal heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, both in 1962 (age 46); and actors David Faustino ("Married ... With Children") in 1974 (age 34) and Jessica Biel ("7th Heaven") in 1982 (age 26).

On this date in history:

In 1879, attorney Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.


In 1931, an act of the U.S. Congress designated "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem of the United States.

In 1974, a Turkish jetliner crashed near Paris, killing 345 people.

In 1985, British coal miners ended a yearlong strike, the longest and costliest labor dispute in British history.

In 1986, the President's Commission on Organized Crime, ending a 32-month investigation, called for drug testing of most working Americans, including all federal employees.

In 1991, a home video captured three Los Angeles police officers beating motorist Rodney King.

Also in 1991, residents of the Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia voted overwhelmingly for independence.

In 1993, Dr. Albert Sabin, the medical pioneer who helped conquer polio, died at his home of heart failure at age 86.

In 1995, the last U.N. peacekeepers left Somalia.

In 1996, a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 19 people.

In 1997, U.S. Vice President Al Gore admitted he made fundraising calls from the White House but said he'd been advised there was no law against it.

Also in 1997, former CIA official Harold Nicholson pleaded guilty to spying for Russia. He was sentenced to 23 years and seven months in prison.


In 1999, an estimated 70 million people tuned in to watch former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's taped TV interview with Barbara Walters.

In 2001, foot-and-mouth disease, which had flared in Britain, was reported in France and Belgium where livestock were quarantined on two farms.

In 2004, former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers pleaded innocent to an indictment on federal fraud and conspiracy charges. The company's 2002 bankruptcy was the largest in U.S. history.

In 2005, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached 1,500.

Also in 2005, North Korea announced it was dropping its self-imposed moratorium on long range missile testing, in place since 1999.

In 2006, former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif., was sentenced to eight years in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors for help in landing lucrative government contracts.

In 2007, cleanup operations were under way in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, where tornadoes killed 20 people, destroyed a hospital and a school and left hundreds homeless.

Also in 2007, California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was chosen to design the United States' first nuclear warhead in two decades.

A thought for the day: Edmund Waller wrote, "Poets that lasting marble seek / Must come in Latin or in Greek."


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