The almanac

By United Press International   |   April 13, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, April 13, the 104th day of 2008 with 262 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 Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, in 1743; Frank Woolworth, founder of the five-and-dime stores, in 1852; Alfred Butts, inventor of the game "Scrabble," in 1899; Irish playwright Samuel Beckett in 1906; Harold Stassen, former Minnesota governor who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination seven times, in 1907; author Eudora Welty in 1909; actor/singer Howard Keel in 1919; actors Lyle Waggoner in 1935 (age 73), Paul Sorvino in 1939 (age 69) and Tony Dow (Wally on "Leave It To Beaver") in 1945 (age 63); singers Al Green in 1946 (age 62) and Peabo Bryson in 1951 (age 57); band leader and Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg in 1951 (age 57) and actors Ron Perlman in 1950 (age 58) and Rick Schroeder in 1970 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Oscar for best actor, honored for his work in "Lillies of the Field."

In 1965, Lawrence Bradford Jr., a 16-year-old from New York City, started work as the first black page to serve in either chamber of Congress.

In 1972, the first major league baseball strike ended, eight days after it began.

In 1984, Christopher Wilder, the FBI's "most wanted man," accidentally killed himself as police moved in to arrest him in New Hampshire. Wilder was a suspect in the deaths, rapes and disappearances of 11 young women in eight states.

In 1987, the Population Reference Bureau reported that the world's population had exceeded 5 billion.

In 1990, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev gave Lithuania a two-day ultimatum, threatening to cut off some supplies to the Baltic republic if it didn't rescind laws passed since a March 11 declaration of independence.

In 1991, an advance team of U.N. observers arrived in Kuwait City to set up a peacekeeping force along the Kuwait-Iraqi border.

In 1992, construction workers breeched a retaining wall in the Chicago River, sending water flooding through a tunnel system connecting buildings in the downtown area.

Also in 1992, Princess Anne, daughter of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, began divorce proceedings after a two-year separation from Capt. Mark Phillips.

In 1997, Tiger Woods, 21, won the Masters Tournament, the youngest golfer to accomplish that feat and first African-American to win any of the four major professional golf tournaments for men.

In 2004, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said in Beijing that the United States doesn't support independence for Taiwan.

In 2005, as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty, Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to four bombings that killed two people and injured more than 120. Among the attacks were bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and two abortion clinics. Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2006, the head of the U.N. nuclear regulatory agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, urged Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment "until outstanding issues are clarified."

In 2007, a Bush administration official, unable to locate e-mail messages requested in the inquiry into firings of U.S. attorneys, said as many as 5 million messages may be lost. The spokesman said it could have happened by accident while changing systems. Federal law requires all White House e-mails to be archived for posterity.

Also in 2007, U.S. regulators sought to determine whether a chemical was intentionally added in China to wheat gluten destined for pet food. Contaminated wheat gluten was in food reported linked to numerous deaths of dogs and cats in North America and prompted the recall of more than 90 brands of pet food.

A thought for the day: "We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." Ben Sweetmand said that.

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