The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, April 26, the 116th day of 2000 with 249 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 Taurus. They include naturalist John James Audubon in 1785; landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1822; author Anita Loos in 1893; Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, in 1894; inventor Charles Richter, responsible for the Richter scale of earthquake measurement, in 1900; novelist Bernard Malamud in 1914; architect I.M. Pei in 1917 (age 92); actress/comedian Carol Burnett in 1933 (age 76); influential pop guitarist Duane Eddy in 1938 (age 71); pop singer Bobby Rydell in 1942 (age 67); and actors Giancarlo Esposito in 1958 (age 51) and Kevin James in 1965 (age 44).


On this day in history:

In 1607, the first British colonists to establish a permanent settlement in America landed at Cape Henry, Va.

In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, German-made planes destroyed the Basque town of Guernica, Spain.

In 1986, a fire at the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear reactor north of Kiev resulted in the world's worst nuclear disaster.

In 1993, a domestic Indian airliner slammed into a parked truck during takeoff and crashed near Aurangabad, killing at least 55 of the 118 people aboard.

Also in 1993, gunmen seized the Costa Rica Supreme Court, holding 17 judges and five other people hostage. The assailants freed their hostages three days later and were captured en route to the airport.

And, the U.S. Holocaust Museum opened in Washington.

In 1994, South Africans began going to the polls in the country's first election that was open to all. Four days of voting would elect Nelson Mandela president.

In 1996, an auction of the belongings of Jackie Onassis yielded $34 million, about seven times what Sotheby's auction house had estimated.

In 2002, a German youth who had been expelled from the Gutenberg school in Erfurt, Germany, returned to the school and shot 16 people to death.


In 2003, U.S. officials said a large munitions dump at a coalition-controlled Iraqi army base exploded, sending an errant missile into a neighborhood and killing at least six Iraqi civilians and injuring many more.

In 2005, the last of the Syrian troops left Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence.

In 2006, solemn commemorative events in Ukraine and Russia marked the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The United Nations said about 9,000 people died from the accident but environmental groups claim the real toll is at least 10 times higher.

Also in 2006, U.S. President George Bush appointed Fox News commentator Tony Snow as his press secretary, replacing Scott McClellan.

In 2007, the U.S. Senate gave final approval to a $124 billion supplemental spending bill that imposed a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. U.S. President George Bush vowed to veto the measure.

Also in 2007, New Hampshire lawmakers approved a measure legalizing civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.

In 2008, officials in Morocco said at least 55 people were killed and 12 injured in a fire that swept through a Casablanca mattress factory. Authorities said the intense fire apparently was fueled by flammable chemicals stored in the building.


Also in 2008, a gun battle in the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, left as many as 15 members of rival drug gangs dead and eight wounded. It was one of the worst recent violent outbreaks in the hotbed of narcotics smuggling.

A thought for the day: "The best proof of love is trust." Dr. Joyce Brothers said that.

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