The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 7, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, March 7, the 66th day of 2009 with 299 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 English painter Edwin Henry Landseer in 1802; American botanist Luther Burbank in 1849; Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian in 1872; French composer Maurice Ravel in 1875; actress Anna Magnani in 1908; NBC weatherman Willard Scott in 1934 (age 75); former Disney executive Michael Eisner in 1942 (age 67) and TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in 1942; actors Daniel J. Travanti in 1940 (age 69) and John Heard in 1945 (age 64); and Czech tennis star Ivan Lendl in 1960 (age 49).

On this date in history:

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea via Egypt.

In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, an estimated 3,000 men rioted at the Detroit plant of the Ford Motor Co. Four were killed.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered Nazi troops into the Rhineland, violating the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1945, the U.S. 1st Army crossed the Rhine at Remagen in Germany. The bridge was the only one across the Rhine that hadn't been destroyed. World War II ended in Europe two months later.

In 1984, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Wilson as the first U.S. ambassador to the Vatican in 117 years.

In 1997, a U.S. veto killed an otherwise unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning new Jewish settlements in Arab East Jerusalem.

In 2002, More than 600 people were reported dead after several days of Hindu-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat, India.

In 2003, North Korea set up a "sea exclusion zone" in the Sea of Japan through March 11, aimed at keeping vessels out of the area while Pyongyang conducted a test of its newest cruise missile.

In 2004, after repeated failures and missed deadlines, the Iraqi governing council signed an interim constitution.

Also in 2004, V. Gene Robinson, openly gay and controversial, became the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.

In 2006, U.S. prosecutors sought the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, who pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In 2007, an Indonesian Garuda Airlines Boeing 737-400 with 140 people aboard crashed and burned on landing in Yogyakarta, killing 49 people.

Also in 2007, former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., named co-chairman of a panel investigating U.S. military hospitals, said the military medical system fails veterans after their immediate injuries are treated.

In 2008, a foreign policy aide to Barack Obama apologized for calling Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton a "monster." Samantha Power made the comments to The Scotsman during a British book tour. Obama said such comments didn't belong in the presidential campaign and didn't reflect his feelings.

Also in 2008, U.S. Postmaster General John Potter told a Senate subcommittee the postal service was on line to lose $1 billion in 2008 due to decreasing business.

A thought for the day: Franklin D. Roosevelt advised, "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

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