The almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, May 26, the 147th day of 2008 with 219 to follow.

This is Memorial Day in the United States.


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 English Gen. John Churchill, ancestor of statesman Winston Churchill, in 1650; entertainer Al Jolson in 1886; actors John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison) in 1907, Robert Morley in 1908, Peter Cushing in 1913 and James Arness in 1923 (age 85); trumpeter Ziggy Elman in 1914; singers Peggy Lee in 1920 and Stevie Nicks in 1948 (age 60); jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in 1926; sportscaster Brent Musburger in 1939 (age 69); singer Hank Williams Jr. and actor Philip Michael Thomas, both in 1949 (age 59); Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space, in 1951 (age 57); and actresses Genie Francis in 1962 (age 46) and Helena Bonham Carter in 1966 (age 42).

On this date in history:

In 1864, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, anxious to create new free territories during the Civil War, signed an act establishing the Montana Territory. Montana became a state 25 years later.

In 1868, at the end of a historic two-month trial, the U.S. Senate failed to convict President Andrew Johnson of impeachment charges levied against him by the House of Representatives. Johnson won acquittal by one vote on each count.

In 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began. Sailing vessels of every kind were pressed into service to ferry across the English Channel the British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped by advancing German forces in northern France. All 200,000 were safely across by June 2.

In 1954, more than 100 crewmembers of the aircraft carrier USS Bennington died in an explosion off Rhode Island.

In 1972, at a Moscow summit, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pact limiting nuclear weapons.

In 1985, a cyclone struck the Bay of Bengal, killing 1,400 people in Bangladesh.

In 1991, a Lauda Air Boeing 767-300 exploded over Thailand after take-off, killing all 223 people on board.

In 1992, the Philippines' former first lady, Imelda Marcos, formally demanded the government return billions of dollars in assets seized after her husband's ouster from power in 1986.

In 1994, the United States and Vietnam resumed diplomatic relations.

Also in 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, were married in the Dominican Republic. They divorced in 1996.

In 2000, Canadian medical researchers reported they had transplanted insulin-producing cells into eight diabetic patients, freeing them from insulin injections.

In 2003, a plane crash in Turkey killed all 74 aboard, including 62 Spanish soldiers returning from peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan.

In 2004, Terry Nichols, serving a life sentence after a federal conviction in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building was found guilty of 161 killings in a state court.

In 2006, U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was accelerating its nuclear program to try to become an exporter of nuclear fuel.

Also in 2007, al-Qaida remained determined to create nuclear weapons for mass destruction, a former U.N. weapons inspector said.

And, a lightning strike during a fierce storm at a school in southwest China killed seven children and injured 39 others.

A thought for the day: "All that glitters is not gold" comes from John Dryden but a similar saying appeared earlier in Shakespeare and earlier still in Chaucer.

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