The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, May 4, the 125th day of 2008 with 241 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 educator Horace Mann in 1796; English biologist and agnostic Thomas Huxley in 1825; American landscape painter Frederick Church in 1826; New York Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman in 1889; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1928 (age 80); musician Maynard Ferguson in 1928; actress Audrey Hepburn in 1929; opera singer Roberta Peters in 1930 (age 78); editor/columnist George Will in 1941 (age 67); singer Nickolas Ashford in 1942 (age 66); actress Pia Zadora in 1954 (age 54); and country singer Randy Travis in 1959 (age 49).

On this date in history:

In 1494, on his second expedition to the New World, Columbus discovered Jamaica.

In 1886, four police officers were killed when a bomb was thrown during a meeting of anarchists in Chicago's Haymarket Square protesting labor unrest. Four leaders of the demonstration, which became known as the Haymarket Square Riot, were convicted and hanged.


In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea began. It was a turning point in World War II, with Japan losing 39 ships and the United States one.

In 1970, National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio during a demonstration against the Vietnam War.

In 1980, President Joseph Broz Tito of Yugoslavia died at age 87.

In 1982, an Argentine jet fighter sank the British destroyer HMS Sheffield during the Falkland Islands war.

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-0 to uphold a California law requiring the state's all-male Rotary Clubs to admit women.

In 1990, Latvia became the third and last of the Baltic republics to take steps toward secession from the Soviet Union.

In 1993, jeans giant Levi Strauss said it would sever most ties with Chinese contractors because of alleged human rights violations in China.

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat signed an agreement, establishing the terms of limited Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

In 1997, FBI Director Louis Freeh indicated that "catastrophic mechanical failure" was the most likely cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 the previous July.


In 2000, the "I Love You" computer virus crashed computers around the world.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II flew to Greece to begin a journey retracing the steps of the Apostle Paul through historic lands.

In 2004, the U.S. Army said it was conducting 35 criminal investigations into the treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty-five of those are said to involve deaths of prisoners, including 13 possible homicides.

In 2005, two days after U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England pleaded guilty to charges related to alleged prisoner abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison the judge threw out the plea and declared a mistrial. The judge said it was not clear whether the Army reservist knew at the time she was acting illegally.

In 2006, confessed terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The 37-year-old Moroccan, who implicated himself in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the United States, could have received the death penalty.

In 2007, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary-general, said Iraq's creditors had agreed to cancel $30 billion in debt. The announcement came as representatives of the United States and 59 other nations met in Egypt to discuss Iraq's future.


Also in 2007, a boat carrying nearly 150 Haitian migrants capsized in the Atlantic off the coast of one of the Turks and Caicos Islands, killing at least 20 people.

A thought for the day: Michel de Montaigne said, "There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees."

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