The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, March 14, the 74th day of 2008 with 292 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Thomas Marshall, U.S. vice president under Woodrow Wilson, in 1854; railroad engineer and hero of the ballad Casey Jones, whose real name was John Luther Jones, in 1864; physicist Albert Einstein in 1879; bandleader Les Brown in 1912; cartoonist Hank Ketcham ("Dennis the Menace") in 1920; astronaut Frank Borman in 1928 (age 80); actor Michael Caine and composer Quincy Jones, both in 1933 (age 75); comedian Billy Crystal in 1947 (age 61), and Prince Albert of Monaco in 1958 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1812, the U.S. government authorized issue of America's first war bonds, to pay for military equipment for use against the British.

In 1950, the FBI's "10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list made its debut.

In 1951, Seoul, South Korea, was recaptured by U.N. troops during the Korean War.

In 1964, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby was convicted of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of U.S. President John Kennedy. Ruby was sentenced to death but the conviction was overturned and he died of cancer while awaiting a new trial.

In 1985, the United States evacuated U.S. officials from Lebanon, leaving a small diplomatic presence in war-torn Beirut.

In 1989, the Bush administration announced it would ban imports of semi-automatic assault rifles indefinitely.

In 1991, scientists from around the world reported the discovery of the gene that triggers colon cancer.

Also in 1991, the emir of Kuwait returned to his country for the first time since the Iraq invasion.

In 1992, a U.S. aircraft carrier was sent to the Persian Gulf as U.N. officials pressed Iraq on the destruction of weapons in compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions.


Also in 1992, researchers said a substance occurring naturally in broccoli helps the body fight off cancer-causing chemicals.

In 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton underwent knee surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland after injuring himself while visiting golfer Greg Norman in Palm Beach, Fla.

In 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered a step-up in the slaughter of livestock as the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak continued.

In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the accounting firm Arthur Andersen had been indicted for destroying thousands of documents related to the investigation into the collapse of Enron, the energy-trading company.

In 2003, Philippine military officials said almost 200 separatist militants had been killed in three days of fighting on Mindanao.

Also in 2003, Hu Jintao was chosen to replace Jiang Zemin as president of China.

In 2004, Vladimir Putin easily won re-election as president of Russia.

Also in 2004, the Socialist Workers Party scored an upset victory in Spain's parliamentary elections.

In 2005, Spanish police were reported to have broken Europe's largest money-laundering ring with the arrest of seven lawyers and three notaries.


In 2006, U.S. President George Bush's approval rating fell to a record low of 33 percent in a Pew survey. It was 36 percent in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

Also in 2006, Israeli soldiers and special police surrounded a Jericho prison in the Gaza Strip to reclaim prisoners the Palestinians were planning to release. Five of the men had been jailed for the 2001 assassination of the Israeli tourism minister.

In 2007, a massive explosion in a Kabul, Afghanistan, bazaar where guns and ammunition are sold killed at least 13 people and injured 15 others. Authorities said the blast wasn't terror-related.

A thought for the day: Albert Einstein wrote, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

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