The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 1, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, March 1, the 60th day of 2009 with 305 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include Polish composer Frederic Chopin in 1810; author William Dean Howells in 1837; big band leader Glenn Miller in 1904; actor David Niven in 1910; poet Robert Lowell in 1917; legendary St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray in 1914; Donald "Deke" Slayton, one of the original Mercury astronauts, in 1924; singer Harry Belafonte in 1927 (age 82); actors Robert Conrad in 1935 (age 74) and Alan Thicke in 1947 (age 62); Roger Daltrey of The Who in 1944 (age 65); director Ron Howard in 1954 (age 55); and actor Timothy Daly in 1956 (age 53).

On this date in history:

In 1692, the notorious witch-hunt began in the Salem village of the Massachusetts Bay colony, eventually resulting in the executions of 19 innocent men and women.

In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery.

In 1781, the American colonies adopted the Articles of Confederation, paving the way for a federal union.

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established by an act of Congress. It was the first area in the world to be designated a national park.

In 1932, aviator Charles Lindbergh's son was kidnapped. The boy's body was found May 12 and Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the crime in 1936.

In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members of Congress.

In 1961, U.S. President John Kennedy formed the Peace Corps.

In 1971, a bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, causing some $300,000 damage but no injuries. The Weather Underground, a leftist radical group that opposed the Vietnam War, claimed responsibility.

In 1991, the United States reopened its embassy in newly liberated Kuwait.

Also in 1991, after 23 years of insurgency in Colombia, the Popular Liberation Army put down its arms in exchange for two seats in the national assembly.

In 1992, the collapse of a building housing a cafe in East Jerusalem killed 23 people.

In 1994, the Muslim-dominated government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bosnia's Croats agreed to a federation embracing portions of their war-torn country under their control.

In 1996, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who reportedly had assisted more than two dozen suicides, was acquitted of murder for a third time.

In 1999, Rwandan rebels killed eight tourists, including two Americans, a Ugandan game warden and three rangers in a national forest in Uganda.

In 2000, in a rare unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to allow most Social Security recipients to earn as much money as they want without losing any benefits.

In 2003, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States was captured in Pakistan. Khalid Sheik Mohammed was believed to be the third ranking member of al-Qaida.

Also in 2003, as the possibility of war in Iraq grew, Turkey's parliament refused to permit U.S. troops on Turkish soil.

In 2004, a new interim government took over in Haiti after a bloody, monthlong insurrection, one day after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled into exile.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that execution of juvenile offenders is unconstitutional.

In 2006, U.S. President George Bush, en route to Pakistan, made an unscheduled stop in Afghanistan to discuss security matters. The day before he arrived in Pakistan a bomb exploded outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, killing an American diplomat.

Also in 2006, New Orleans' first Mardi Gras after being slammed by Hurricane Katrina wound down peacefully in what Mayor Ray Nagin called a "symbol that we're on our way back."

In 2007, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced that he will be a candidate for president in 2008.

Also in 2007, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who served as an adviser in the Kennedy Administration, died at age 89.

In 2008, the Dow Jones industrials fell 315.17 points and went into March at 12,266.39 after its fourth consecutive monthly drop. Crude oil prices topped $101 a barrel.

Also in 2008, Israeli forces carried out more attacks in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 45 Palestinians, reports said. About 60 others were injured.

A thought for the day: "Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week." William Dean Howells said that.

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