The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 5, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, April 5, the 96th day of 2008 with 270 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1588; Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence and father of U.S. President William Henry Harrison, in 1726; English physician Joseph Lister, who introduced antiseptic surgery, in 1827; educator Booker T. Washington in 1856; actors Spencer Tracy in 1900, Melvyn Douglas in 1901, Bette Davis in 1908 and Gregory Peck in 1916; novelist Arthur Hailey in 1920; filmmaker Roger Corman in 1926 (age 82); impressionist Frank Gorshin in 1933; former U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in 1937 (age 71); actors Michael Moriarty in 1941 (age 67), Max Gail ("Barney Miller") in 1943 (age 65) and Jane Asher in 1946 (age 62); astronaut Judith Resnik in 1949; and actor Mitch Pileggi ("The X-Files") in 1952 (age 56).

On this date in history:

In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of a chief, married English tobacco planter John Rolfe in Jamestown, Va., a marriage that ensured peace between the settlers and the Powhatan Indians for several years.

In 1768, the first U.S. Chamber of Commerce was founded in New York City.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death in New York for stealing atomic secrets for the Soviet Union.

In 1968, violence erupted in several U.S. cities in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died of kidney failure during a flight from Acapulco, Mexico, to Houston. He was 71.

In 1982, the British fleet sailed to recapture the Falkland Islands from Argentina.

In 1986, two U.S. servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin disco that Washington blamed on Libya. In retaliation, U.S. jetfighters bombed Tripoli and Benghazi 10 days later.

In 1991, former U.S. Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, and 22 others, were killed in a commuter plane crash in Brunswick, Ga.

In 1993, a Salvadoran Boeing 767 jetliner ran off the runway on landing in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and crashed into a residential area. All 213 people aboard the plane survived.

In 1999, one of two men charged in the October 1998 beating death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two life sentences.

Also in 1999, Libya handed over for trial two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The men were to be tried in the Netherlands under Scottish law.

In 2002, the International Committee of the Red Cross called Israel's attacks on its vehicles and facilities "totally unacceptable." The Red Cross and others warned of a humanitarian crisis in the occupied lands.

In 2003, members of the U.S. 3rd Infantry moved through southwest Baghdad and reached the center of the Iraqi capital.

In 2004, the California Supreme Court ruled that a defendant who kills a pregnant woman can be charged with murdering the fetus even if he didn't know she was pregnant.

Also in 2004, suspected Maoist rebels torched at least 18 oil tankers carrying fuel from India to Nepal.

In 2005, uneasy U.S. officials feared Iraqi guerrilla leader Abu Musab Zarqawi was behind the well-orchestrated attack on Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison in which 44 U.S. troops were wounded.

Also in 2005, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings told colleagues and friends in an e-mail message that he had lung cancer.

In 2006, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former aide to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, reportedly told a federal grand jury that U.S. President George Bush authorized him to leak classified information to a reporter.

In 2007, Iran released the 15-member British naval crew seized in the Persian Gulf and held for 13 days. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who accused the Britons of trespassing in Iranian waters, said their pardons were a "gift" to the British.

Also in 2007, the U.S. Defense Department said it planned to deploy 12,000 more National Guard members to Iraq and Afghanistan.

A thought for the day: Mother Theresa said, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

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