The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 6, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, April 6, the 96th day of 2009 with 269 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 newspaper editor Joseph Medill in 1823; journalist Lincoln Steffens in 1866; actor Walter Huston in 1884; radio commentator Lowell Thomas in 1892; baseball Hall-of-Famer Gordon "Mickey" Cochrane in 1903; geneticist James Watson in 1928 (age 81); musician Andre Previn in 1929 (age 80); country singer Merle Haggard and actor Billy Dee Williams, both in 1937 (age 72); producer/director Barry Levinson in 1942 (age 67); singer/actress Michelle Phillips in 1944 (age 65); and actors John Ratzenberger ("Cheers") in 1947 (age 62), Marilu Henner ("Taxi") in 1952 (age 57) and Candace Cameron Bure ("Full House") in 1976 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints was founded in a log cabin in Fayette, N.Y.

In 1851, Portland, Ore., was founded.

In 1868, Mormon Church leader Brigham Young married his 27th, and last, wife.

In 1896, the first modern Olympics formally opened at Athens, Greece. The Olympics had last been staged 1,500 years earlier.

In 1909, Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole.

In 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, propelling America into World War I.

In 1931, nine black youths accused of raping two white women went on trial in Scottsboro, Ala. All were convicted in a hasty trial but by 1950 were free by parole, appeal or escape.

In 1938, Du Pont researchers Roy Plunkett and Jack Rebok accidentally created the chemical compound that was later marketed as Teflon.

In 1947, the first Tony Awards, honoring distinguished work in the theater, were presented in New York City.

In 1968, federal troops and National Guardsmen were ordered out in Chicago, Washington and Detroit, as rioting continued over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1991, Iraq's parliament accepted a permanent cease-fire in the Gulf War.

In 1992, science fiction patriarch Isaac Asimov, 72, died after a lengthy illness.

In 1994, the presidents of the African nations of Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a plane crash in Kigali. The incident triggered bloody fighting between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups that left hundreds of thousands of people dead.

Also in 1994, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who had served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1970, announced his retirement.

In 1996, rioting broke out in Liberia following the arrest of factional leader Roosevelt Johnson on murder charges.

In 1998, U.S. health officials announced that tamoxifen, a synthetic hormone, prevented breast cancer in women at high risk.

In 2001, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted an Algerian man on charges stemming from his arrest at the U.S.-Canadian border in December 1999. Prosecutors said Ahmen Ressam was planning to set off explosions during the millennium celebrations.

In 2003, U.N. officials said they had reports that at least 966 people had been killed three days earlier in a dozen Congolese villages in an area rich in minerals.

In 2004 sports, the University of Connecticut became the first school to win both the NCAA Division I men's and women's college basketball championships the same year.

In 2005, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, one of Europe's longest-reigning monarchs, died from multiple organ failure at the age of 81. He was succeeded by Prince Albert, one of three children he had with his late wife, U.S. movie star Grace Kelly.

Also in 2005, strong security was set up in Rome two days before the funeral of Pope John Paul II, including anti-missile systems, NATO forces, fighter jet protection and a warship on standby in the Mediterranean.

In 2006, health officials said bird flu continued to spread. The United Kingdom reported its first case in an infected dead swan in eastern Scotland. The West African nation of Burkino Faso also reported its first case.

Also in 2006, a translation of the so-called Gospel of Judas was released 18 centuries after it was written and 30 years after its discovery in Egypt.

In 2007, a U.N.-sponsored scientific panel endorsed by 120 countries warned of dire consequences unless worldwide buildup in greenhouse gases is cut back and predicted the possibility of 50 million environmental refugees by 2010.

Also in 2007, the Solomon Islands were hit for a second day with an earthquake that measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. The death toll stood at 30 from the first quake, which measured at 8.

In 2008, American Airlines grounded all 300 of its MD-80 jetliners after an FAA review found faulty wiring in nine of them. Over the next five days, American canceled some 3,300 flights, disrupting travel of more than 100,000 passengers.

Also in 2008, dozens of human rights protesters were arrested in London after they clashed with police who lined the route of the Olympic torch relay to Beijing. The dispute stemmed from the China-Tibet controversy.

A thought for the day: Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

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