The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, May 9, the 130th day of 2008 with 236 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include abolitionist John Brown in 1800; Scottish novelist James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan," in 1860; Howard Carter, the egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, in 1874; industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in 1882; Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1883; TV journalist Mike Wallace in 1918 (age 90); tennis champion Richard "Pancho" Gonzalez in 1928; actor Albert Finney in 1936 (age 72); actress Glenda Jackson in 1936 (age 72); TV producer and filmmaker James L. Brooks in 1940 (age 68); former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 1942 (age 66); actress Candice Bergen in 1946 (age 62); and singer/songwriter Billy Joel in 1949 (age 59).


On this date in history:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

In 1926, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.

In 1961, in a speech to TV bigwigs at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as "a vast wasteland."

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened its hearing on the possible impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

In 1978, the body of former Italian minister Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.

In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT 2 nuclear arms treaty.

In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida's Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened on April 30, 1987.

In 1987, 183 people died when a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw.


In 1993, thousands of war veterans, politicians and anti-government demonstrators gathered across Moscow and the former Soviet Union to mark the World War II victory over Germany at Stalingrad.

In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.

In 2003, a well-connected Los Angeles socialite, Katrina Leung, who also allegedly acted as a double-agent for China, was formally charged with passing sensitive documents on to Chinese intelligence officers.

In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion at a stadium in Grozny where Russia's World War II victory was being celebrated. Thirty-one other people also died.

In 2005, a federal appeals court ruled that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney didn't have to reveal how the White House energy policies were developed. There had been accusations of alleged industry involvement.

Also in 2005, the federal bankruptcy court gave United Airlines permission to terminate its pension plans.

In 2006, the head of Israeli military intelligence predicted that Iran will produce nuclear bombs within four years.

In 2007, a rare truck bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil killed at least 19 people and injured some 70 others at a building housing Interior Ministry offices.


A thought for the day: Benjamin Franklin said, "Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other."

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