The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 20, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, April 20, the 111th day of 2008 with 255 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include French Emperor Napoleon III in 1808; sculptor Daniel Chester French, creator of "The Minute Man" statue, in 1850; Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1889; silent film comedian Harold Lloyd and Spanish surrealist painter Joan Miro, both in 1893; U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in 1920 (age 88); actress Nina Foch in 1924 (age 84); actor Ryan O'Neal in 1941 (age 67); actress Jessica Lange in 1949 (age 59); singer Luther Vandross in 1951; and actors Carmen Electra in 1972 (age 36) and Joey Lawrence in 1976 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 735 B.C., according to the Roman historian Varro, Romulus founded the city of Rome.

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell -- Puritan, revolutionary and Lord Protector of England -- dissolved Parliament to rule by decree.

In 1871, the U.S. Congress passed the Third Force Act, popularly known as the Ku Klux Act, authorizing President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations and use military force to suppress the Klan.

In 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie isolated radioactive radium salts from the mineral pitchblende in their laboratory in Paris.

In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts could order low-cost housing for minorities in a city's white suburbs to ease racial segregation.

In 1987, Karl Linnas, sentenced to death by the Soviets in 1962 for running a World War II concentration camp, became the first Nazi war criminal returned by the United States to the Soviet Union against his will.

In 1990, Pete Rose, banished from baseball for gambling, pleaded guilty to two felony counts alleging he concealed nearly $300,000 in income from the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1991, U.S. Marines crossed into northern Iraq to set up camps for Kurds seeking refuge from Iraqi civil strife.

Also in 1991, the United States announced plans to open an office in Hanoi to investigate unresolved cases of 2,278 U.S. military personnel listed as MIAs and POWs.

In 1992, Madonna signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Time Warner to form an entertainment company that would make her the highest paid female pop star in the world.

In 1998, a federal jury in Chicago awarded more than $85,000 in damages to two women's health clinics that had accused abortion opponents of threats and extortion in an effort to shut them down.

In 1999, two teenage boys killed 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before turning their guns on themselves.

In 2001, the opening session of the Summit of the Americas was delayed as protesters massed in the streets of Quebec City. They were demonstrating against a proposed hemisphere-wide free trade area.

Also in 2001, a U.S. missionary and her infant daughter were killed when their plane was fired on by the crew of a Peruvian jetfighter who thought the aircraft was carrying illegal drugs.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II, speaking on the sex scandal that had rocked the Roman Catholic clergy, said bishops must "diligently investigate accusations" against priests who broke their vows of celibacy.

In 2004, some 21 Iraqi detainees were killed at Abu Ghraib prison, largest facility used by U.S. troops to detain Iraqis, by mortar rounds apparently fired by anti-coalition insurgents. Many others were hurt.

In 2005, more than 50 bodies, believed to be those of hostages, were found in Iraq's Tigris River and another 20 soldiers shot to death were found near Baghdad.

In 2006, U.S. President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao discussed various issues in a Washington meeting, including working against nuclear proliferation and trade imbalance but reached no agreements.

In 2007, as Virginia Tech mourned its dead from the shooting rampage by a student that killed 33 students and faculty members, a news report said the shooter bought two guns despite a history of mental illness.

A thought for the day: Richard L. Evans said, "Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was."

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