Today is Friday, April 3, the 93rd day of 2009 with 272 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include historian and story writer Washington Irving in 1783; author and naturalist John Burroughs in 1837; publisher Henry Luce in 1898; actress Doris Day in 1924 (age 85) and actor Marlon Brando also in 1924; astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom in 1926; anthropologist Jane Goodall in 1934 (age 75); actress Marsha Mason and entertainer Wayne Newton, both in 1942 (age 67); singer Tony Orlando in 1944 (age 65); actors Alec Baldwin in 1958 (age 51) and David Hyde Pierce in 1959 (age 50); actor/comedian Eddie Murphy in 1961 (age 48); actress Jennie Garth ("Beverly Hills 90210") in 1972 (age 37) and Olympic skier Picabo Street in 1971 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1860, the Pony Express postal service began with riders leaving St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacramento at the same time.
In 1865, as the Civil War drew to a close, Richmond, Va., and nearby Petersburg surrendered to Union forces.
In 1882, the notorious outlaw Jesse James was shot to death by Robert Ford, a former gang member who hoped to collect the reward on James' head.
In 1936, Richard Bruno Hauptmann was executed for killing the 20-month-old son of Charles A. Lindbergh.
In 1944, in a case out of Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that barring blacks from voting violated the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman signed into law the Marshall Plan, aimed to help European countries recover from World War II.
In 1975, U.S. President Gerald Ford said losses in South Vietnam shouldn't be regarded as a sign that U.S. commitments wouldn't be fulfilled elsewhere.
In 1989, Richard M. Daley was elected mayor of Chicago, the post his father had occupied for 21 years.
In 1991, the U.N. Security Council passed the cease-fire resolution to end the Persian Gulf War.
In 1995, the owners and players of major league baseball approved an agreement, ending what was then the longest strike in sports history.
In 1996, a plane crash in Croatia killed 35 people, including U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and other officials and business leaders.
Also in 1996, the FBI raided a Montana cabin and arrested former college professor Theodore Kaczynski, accusing him of being the Unabomber whose mail bombs had killed three people and injured 23 more since the 1970s.
In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said construction of a Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem would continue, despite a series of fatal confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinians.
In 2000, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft had violated U.S. antitrust laws. Microsoft announced that it would appeal the decision.
In 2003, U.S. President George Bush told U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina that victory was at hand in Iraq. On that day, coalition troops crossed the Tigris River and moved to within 25 miles of Baghdad.
Also in 2003, as cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome mounted the World Health Organization advised against travel to Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Guangdong because of the pneumonia-like illness known as SARS.
In 2004, as Spanish police closed in, three men believed to be behind the Madrid train bombings blew themselves up, also killing one officer and injuring 11 others.
In 2005, Syria said it would withdraw all troops from Lebanon by April 30.
Also in 2005, a study prepared by a panel advising the U.S. Defense Department said that "Muslims in dictatorial regimes" don't yearn to be liberated by the United States.
In 2006, a Virginia jury decided confessed al-Qaida member Zacarias Moussaoui was eligible for the death penalty.
In 2007, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., led a delegation to the Mideast with an agenda including peace talks with Syria and Israel that brought a shower of criticism from the White House.
In 2008, as FAA regulators opened congressional testimony about national airline woes dealing with safety concerns, rising fuel costs and the economy, three bankrupt air carriers, Aloha, Skybus and ATA, ceased operations.
A thought for the day: "Money, the root of all evil ... but the cure for all sadness." Mike Gill said that.