The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 10, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday April 10, the 101st day of 2008 with 265 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 U.S. Navy Adm. Matthew Perry, who concluded the first treaty between Japan and the United States, in 1794; soldier, diplomat and novelist Lewis Wallace, author of "Ben-Hur," in 1827; William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, in 1829; journalist and publisher Joseph Pulitzer in 1847; Frances Perkins, the first woman U.S. Cabinet member (secretary of labor), in 1882; journalist and diplomat Clare Booth Luce in 1903; actors Harry Morgan in 1915 (age 93), Chuck Connors in 1921, Max von Sydow in 1929 (age 79) and Omar Sharif in 1932 (age 75); former NFL coach and sports commentator John Madden in 1936 (age 72); actors Steven Seagal in 1951 (age 57) and Peter MacNicol in 1954 (age 54); singer/songwriter/producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds in 1958 (age 50); singer Mandy Moore in 1984 (age 24); and actor Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth Sense") in 1988 (age 20).

On this date in history:

In 1790, merchant Robert Gray docked at Boston Harbor, becoming the first American to circumnavigate the globe. He sailed from Boston in September 1787.

In 1849, William Hunt of New York patented the first safety pin.

In 1864, Austrian Archduke Maximilian became emperor of Mexico.

In 1919, Emiliano Zapata, a leader of peasants and indigenous people during the Mexican Revolution, was ambushed and shot to death in Morelos by government forces.

In 1942, Japanese soldiers herded U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war on Bataan in the Philippines and forced them to march to another camp. During the six-day "Death March," more than 5,200 Americans and many more Filipinos died.

In 1963, the U.S. nuclear submarine "Thresher" sank in the Atlantic Ocean 220 miles east of Boston. All 129 men on board were lost.

In 1971, the U.S. table tennis team arrived in China, the first U.S. group to penetrate the so-called Bamboo Curtain since the 1950s.

In 1972, during his first visit to the United States in 20 years, movie pioneer and comic genius Charlie Chaplin accepted an honorary Academy Award for his "incalculable" contribution to the art of filmmaking.

In 1991, an Italian ferry headed to Sardinia collided with an oil tanker near Leghorn, Italy, killing 151 passengers and crew. The tanker crew survived.

In 1992, Charles Keating Jr., considered a symbol of the nation's savings and loan debacle, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for securities fraud.

Also in 1992, in formal Gulf War report, the Pentagon said allied bombers destroyed more Iraqi electrical generating facilities than necessary, causing undue postwar hardship on civilians.

In 1994, two U.S aircraft bombed a Serbian command post in Bosnia. It was the first NATO air attack against ground forces.

In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton vetoed a ban on so-called partial birth abortions. The U.S. Congress was unable to override the veto.

In 1997, a U.S. judge in Washington ruled the Line-Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

In 1998, Britain and Ireland reached an agreement aimed at ending the long and bloody dispute over the future of Northern Ireland.

Also in 1998, the anti-impotence drug Viagra went on the market and became one of the best-selling new medications of all time.

In 2000, the Nasdaq plunged 258 points in its second-biggest drop, starting the dramatic fall-off in the value of technology stocks.

In 2003, the United States and Britain launched a massive public relations campaign over the Iraqi airwaves with President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair reading speeches to Iraqis over a jointly run television network.

Also in 2003, the pneumonia-like illness SARS, which sickened thousands and killed more than 100 people, continued to spread to new areas around the globe with Kuwait reporting its first case.

In 2004, the White House made public a key briefing document that warned President George Bush before Sept. 11, 2001, of possible al-Qaida attacks inside the United States.

In 2005, about 3,000 Israeli police officers were deployed to Jerusalem's Old City to prevent threatened protests by Jewish militants at the Temple Mount, angry at Israel's plan to remove Jewish settlements from Gaza and the West Bank.

In 2006, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was narrowly beaten in his bid for another term by former premier Romano Prodi.

Also in 2006, U.N. personnel identified more than 100 new cases of bird flu in central and northern Myanmar in the past month.

In 2007, three former Birmingham, Ala., college students were sentenced to federal prison for setting fire to nine rural southern U.S. churches and ordered to pay $3.1 million in restitution.

Also in 2007, four Serbian paramilitary officers were found guilty of taking part in the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims 13 years ago. Thousands of men and boys were reported slaughtered in a few days.

A thought for the day: Pablo Casals said, "Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart."

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