The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 5, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, March 5, the 64th day of 2009 with 301 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Flemish mapmaker Gerardus Mercator in 1512; the Rev. William Blackstone, the first settler in what is now Boston, in 1595; Antoine Cadillac, founder of Detroit, in 1658; poet Lucy Larcom in 1824; lithographer James Ives, partner of Nathaniel Currier, in 1824; author Frank Norris in 1870; water treatment pioneer Emmett J. Culligan in 1893; actors Rex Harrison in 1908, Jack Cassidy in 1927, Dean Stockwell in 1936 (age 73), Samantha Eggar in 1939 (age 70), Paul Sand in 1944 (age 65), Michael Warren ("Hill Street Blues") in 1946 (age 63) and Marsha Warfield ("Night Court") in 1954 (age 55); and magician Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller in 1955 (age 54).

On this date in history:

In 1770, British troops killed five colonials in the so-called Boston Massacre, one of the events that led to the American Revolution.

In 1933, in German elections, Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party won nearly half the seats in the Reichstag, the German parliament.

In 1946, Winston Churchill, speaking in Fulton, Mo., established the Cold War boundary during his famed "Iron Curtain" speech.

In 1953, the Soviet Union announced that dictator Josef Stalin had died at age 73.

In 1984, the Standard Oil Co. of California, also known as Chevron, bought Gulf Corp. for more than $13 billion in the largest business merger in U.S. history at the time.

In 1991, rebellions against Saddam Hussein were reported in southeastern Iraq. U.S. military officials predicted the unrest probably would lead to his downfall.

In 1993, Canada's Ben Johnson, once called the world's fastest human, tested positive for drugs and was banned for life from track competition.

In 1997, Switzerland announced plans to establish a $4.7 billion government-financed fund, using interest from its gold reserves, to compensate survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and their descendants.

In 1998, NASA announced that ice had been found at the moon's north and south poles.

In 2005, military officials said an Italian reporter and former hostage was wounded and an Italian secret agent killed by U.S. forces when their vehicle failed to stop at a Baghdad roadblock.

In 2006, AT&T said it would purchase BellSouth for $67 billion in stock, beefing up the size of the nation's largest telecommunications company.

Also in 2006, Iran threatened to launch full-scale uranium enrichment if its nuclear program was referred to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions.

In 2007, on the eve of a five-nation tour of Latin America, U.S. President George Bush pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid for poor people of the region.

In 2008, OPEC turned a deaf ear to U.S. President George Bush's request for increased oil production, citing what some members called "mismanagement" of the U.S. economy as a major cause for high oil prices.

A thought for the day: Winston Churchill said, "It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."

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