The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 22, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, May 22, the 143rd day of 2008 with 223 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include German composer Richard Wagner in 1813; Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, in 1859; actor Laurence Olivier in 1907; pioneering jazz musician Sun Ra (born Herman Blount) in 1914; critic Judith Crist in 1922 (age 86); French singer Charles Aznavour in 1924 (age 84); pianist/composer Peter Nero in 1934 (age 74); actor/director Richard Benjamin in 1938 (age 70); actor Michael Sarrazin in 1940 (age 68); actor Paul Winfield in 1939 and model/actress Naomi Campbell in 1970 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great defeated Persian King Darius III at Granicus, Turkey.

In 1868, seven members of the Reno gang stole $98,000 from a railway car at Marshfield, Ind. It was the original "Great Train Robbery."

In 1924, the discovery of the body of Bobby Franks, 13, of Chicago led to the arrest of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. They were sentenced to 99 years in prison for the so-called thrill killing.

In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first U.S president to visit Moscow.

In 1987, a tornado flattened Saragosa, Texas, population 185, killing 29 residents and injuring 121.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev asked the world's industrialized nations for $100 billion in economic loans and grants to bolster the Soviet economy.

In 1992, Johnny Carson ended his nearly 30-year career as host of "The Tonight Show" with what NBC said was the highest-rated late-night TV show ever.

In 1993, France, Britain, Russia, Spain and the United States approved a joint policy calling for a negotiated settlement of the war in Bosnia. However, the Muslim president of Bosnia rejected the plan.

In 1994, a tougher U.N.-approved economic embargo against Haiti took effect.

In 1998, a federal judge ruled that members of the U.S. Secret Service could be required to testify before a grand jury investigating U.S. President Bill Clinton's relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Also in 1998, voters in Ireland and Northern Ireland approved a plan to bring peace to violence-torn Ulster.

In 2002, authorities in Birmingham, Ala., convicted a fourth suspect in the 1963 church bombing that killed four young black girls. Bobby Frank Cherry, 71, a former Ku Klux Klansman, was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2003, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft orbiting Mars took a unique photo of Earth, the first from another planet, showing Earth as a tiny world in the vast darkness of space.

In 2003 sports, Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 59 years to compete in a PGA event. But, her 5-over-par 145 through two rounds of the Bank of America Colonial tournament failed to make the cut.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush was slightly injured when he fell off his bicycle toward the end of a 17-mile ride on his Texas ranch.

Also in 2004, U.S. lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation aimed at expanding high-level military cooperation between the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries.

And, Prince Felipe of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne, married television newscaster Letizia Ortiz in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Madrid.

In 2005, officials said about 100 U.S. military installations in Iraq will be consolidated into four heavily fortified, strategically located air bases.

Also in 2005, relatives of 45 Chilean military recruits reported missing in a march during a severe Andes snowstorm accused army officers of abandoning the men.

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported that a computer containing personal information on some 26.5 million veterans and spouses had been stolen.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush, meeting with the NATO chief at his Texas ranch, said he planned to ask NATO members to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Also in 2007, British prosecutors said they would charge a Moscow man with murder in the poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

A thought for the day: William Lyon Phelps wrote, "You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York."

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