The almanac

United Press International

Today is Thursday, March 6, the 66th day of 2008 with 300 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 Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo in 1475; French dramatist Cyrano de Bergerac in 1619; English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1806; Union Army Gen. Philip Sheridan in 1831; humorist and short story writer Ring Lardner in 1885; Texas swing bandleader Bob Wills in 1905; comic actor Lou Costello (Abbott and Costello) 1906; TV personality Ed McMahon in 1923 (age 85); symphony conductor Sarah Caldwell in 1924; former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan in 1926 (age 82); Mercury astronaut L. Gordon Cooper in 1927; former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry in 1936 (age 72); actor Ben Murphy in 1942 (age 66); actor/director Rob Reiner in 1947 (age 61); actor Tom Arnold in 1959 (age 49); and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal in 1972 (age 36).


On this date in history:

In 1836, Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio killing the last of 187 defenders who had held out in the fortified mission for 13 days. Famous frontiersman Davy Crockett was among those killed on the final day.

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling that black slave Dred Scott couldn't sue for his freedom in a federal court, even though his white master had died in a "free" state.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers flying from Britain began the first daytime attacks on Berlin.

In 1982, an Egyptian court sentenced five Muslim fundamentalists to death for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Seventeen others drew prison terms.

In 1987, an earthquake and flood in northeastern Ecuador killed more than 300 people and ruptured a main oil pipeline.

Also in 1987, the British car ferry The Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing at least 189 of some 540 people aboard.

In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared the Persian Gulf War over.

In 2000, a federal jury convicted three New York City police officers of covering up the 1997 assault on prisoner Abner Louima in a police station men's room.


In 2002, Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as special prosecutor, said there was sufficient evidence to convict U.S. President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinski case. But, he said Clinton had agreed to admit he gave false testimony under oath, thus avoiding prosecution.

In 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States could lead a coalition of nations that would disarm Iraq even without U.N. authority.

Also in 2003, the U.S. Senate approved a U.S.-Russian agreement whereby each country would reduce deployed nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II appeared at his hospital window in Rome for the second consecutive week to wave to pilgrims. The 84-year-old pontiff was recovering from throat surgery.

In 2006, South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds signed into law a measure outlawing all abortions except when necessary to save a woman's life. Opponents hoped a challenge would put the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also in 2006, officials said the 2005 hurricane season was the costliest disaster in U.S. history with Congress considering another $20 billion in relief. The federal government already had committed $88 billion to help areas devastated by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.


In 2007, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of lying to FBI agents and to a grand jury in the investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the media.

Also in 2007, seven U.S. attorneys fired in late 2006 told congressional committee hearings they got inappropriate calls from Republican lawmakers or Justice Department officials about corruption cases under investigation.

A thought for the day: Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote that, "A woman's always younger than a man of equal years."

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