Today is Thursday, April 24, the 115th day of 2008 with 251 to follow.
The moon is waning. 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 English novelist Anthony Trollope in 1815; artist Willem de Kooning in 1904; U.S. poet laureate Robert Penn Warren in 1905; actresses Shirley MacLaine in 1934 (age 74) and Jill Ireland in 1936; singer, actress and director Barbra Streisand in 1942 (age 66); Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1942 (age 66); and actors Eric Bogosian in 1953 (age 55) and Michael O'Keefe in 1955 (age 53).
On this date in history:
In 1704, the Boston News Letter became the first American newspaper to be published on a regular basis.
In 1800, the U.S. Congress established the Library of Congress.
In 1877, U.S. troops moved out of New Orleans, ending the North's military occupation of the South following the Civil War.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer.
In 1987, genetically altered bacteria, designed to prevent frost damage, were sprayed on a California strawberry field in the first test of such biotechnology in nature.
In 1991, the first U.N. peacekeeping forces were deployed along the Kuwait-Iraq border.
Also in 1991, Freddie Stowers, a World War I corporal, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to become the first African-American to receive the highest medal for valor in combat.
In 1993, an IRA bomb blast rocked London's financial district, injuring at least 35 people.
In 1995, the "UNAbomber" struck with a mail bomb that killed Gilbert Murray, president of the California Forestry Association, in Sacramento.
In 1996, the Palestinian National Council voted to drop its official commitment to the destruction of Israel.
In 1997, with ratification by the U.S. Senate, the United States became the 75th country to approve the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In 1998, after threats from Russian President Boris Yeltsin and two negative votes, the Russian parliament approved Yeltsin's nomination of Sergei Kiriyenko as the nation's premier.
In 2003, North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons and had begun making bomb-grade plutonium.
In 2004, Greek Cypriot voters overwhelmingly rejected a U.N. plan for the reunification of the divided Mediterranean island.
In 2006, three coordinated bomb blasts shattered part of the popular Egyptian resort town of Dahab, killing a reported 30 people and injuring more than 115 others.
Also in 2006, police in Kansas and Alaska report breaking up two plots by middle school and high school students for school massacres hours before they were to begin.
In 2007, Toyota overtook General Motors as No. 1 in global vehicle sales from January to March largely because of increased demand for fuel-efficient cars.
Also in 2007, Mexico City lawmakers voted to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a landmark decision in the largely Roman Catholic country.
A thought for the day: Erica Jong wrote, "Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to nurture it in solitude and to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads."