The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, May 30, the 151st day of 2008 with 215 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 Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and many other cartoon characters, in 1908; bandleader/clarinetist Benny Goodman in 1909; restaurant executive Bob Evans in 1918; Christine Jorgensen, who gained notoriety for undergoing a sex-change operation, in 1926; actors Clint Walker in 1927 (age 81), Keir Dullea in 1936 (age 72) and Michael J. Pollard in 1939 (age 69); NFL Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers in 1943 (age 65); actors Colm Meaney in 1953 (age 55) and Ted McGinley in 1958 (age 50).

On this date in history:

In 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, at age 19. She had been convicted of sorcery.


In 1783, the "Pennsylvania Evening Post" became the first daily newspaper published in the United States.

In 1806, future U.S. President Andrew Jackson took part in a duel, killing Charles Dickinson, a Kentucky lawyer who had called Jackson's wife Rachel a bigamist.

In 1868, the first major Memorial Day observance was held to honor those killed during the Civil War. It was originally known to some as "Decoration Day."

In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington.

In 1937, a battle between police and strikers at the Republic Steel Corp. plant in Chicago killed 10 people and wounded 90.

In 1943, the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu off the Alaskan coast were retaken by U.S. forces after being occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.

In 1972, the unmanned U.S. space probe Mariner 9 was launched on a mission to gather scientific data on Mars, ultimately sending back valuable information and becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a planet other than the Earth.

In 1972, three Japanese terrorists killed 22 people with automatic weapons at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In 1982, Spain became the 16th member nation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


In 1998, Pakistan conducted another underground nuclear test, despite condemnation from many leading countries and the imposition of U.S. economic sanctions.

In 2002, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the FBI would have expanded powers to monitor religious, political and other organizations as well as the Internet as a guard against terrorist attacks.

Also in 2002, the massive cleanup was completed in the ruins of New York's World Trade Center, destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

In 2004, a standoff near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between Saudi authorities and terrorists who held 50 hostages ended when commandos stormed the building. At least nine hostages were killed by Islamic militants.

In 2005, at least 27 people, mostly police officers, were killed and more than 100 were wounded when two suicide bombers exploded bomb vests in a city south of Baghdad.

In 2006, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow resigned, saying he was anxious to return to private life. U.S. President George Bush quickly nominated Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Henry Paulson to succeed him.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush asked Congress for an additional $30 billion to fight AIDS globally.


Also in 2007, in a Gallup poll of U.S. adults, one-third of respondents said they believed the Bible was literally true.

A thought for the day: Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that, "No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the godless man."

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