The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, April 29, the 119th day of 2009 with 246 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 publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1863; bandleader and composer Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington in 1899; Japanese emperor Hirohito in 1901; actress Celeste Holm in 1917 (age 92); English skiffle group leader Lonnie Donegan in 1931; poet Rod McKuen in 1933 (age 76); conductor Zubin Mehta in 1936 (age 73); long-distance runner and former U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., and golfer Johnny Miller, both in 1947 (age 62); auto racer Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1951; comedians Nora Dunn ("Saturday Night Live") in 1952 (age 57) and Jerry Seinfeld in 1954 (age 55); actors Kate Mulgrew ("Star Trek: Voyager") in 1955 (age 54), Daniel Day-Lewis in 1957 (age 52) and Michelle Pfeiffer and Eve Plumb ("The Brady Bunch"), both in 1958 (age 51); and tennis player Andre Agassi and actress Uma Thurman, both in 1970 (age 39).


On this date in history:

In 1864, Ashmun Institute in Pennsylvania, the first college founded solely for African-American students, was officially chartered.

In 1885, women were admitted for the first time to examinations at England's Oxford University.

In 1913, Gideon Sundbach of Hoboken, N.J., was issued a patent for the zipper.

In 1945, U.S. troops liberated 32,000 prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany.

In 1985, four gunmen escaped with nearly $8 million in cash stolen from the Wells Fargo armored car company in New York.

In 1986, an arson fire destroyed more than 1 million books in the Los Angeles Central Library.

In 1988, the first condor conceived in captivity was born at San Diego Wild Animal Park.

In 1991, more than 100 people were killed when an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale rocked Soviet Georgia, destroying hospitals, schools, factories and 17,000 homes.

In 1992, rioting erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted four white police officers of nearly all charges in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Fifty-three people died in three days of protest and violence.

Also in 1992, a Sarasota, Fla., judge denied custody rights to the biological parents of a 13-year-old girl, ruling she should remain with the man who raised her since the 1978 hospital mix-up of infants.


In 1994, an estimated 250,000 Rwandans fleeing the fighting crossed the border into neighboring Tanzania in one day.

In 2004, U.S. President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney underwent more than three hours of questioning about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Neither was under oath and the session wasn't recorded.

In 2005, at least 27 people were killed and 100 wounded as insurgents targeted Iraqi forces with bombs in a horrific three-hour melee in and near Baghdad.

In 2006, the U.S. National Counter-terrorism Center said international terror attacks numbered 11,111 attacks in 2005, nearly four times more than the previous year.

In 2007, the Tamil Tiger rebels launched an air attack on Sri Lanka's two oil facilities near the capital city of Colombo.

Also in 2007, worldwide protests were staged on behalf of the fourth anniversary of the Darfur conflict in Sudan where death estimates have ranged as high as 400,000.

In 2008, U.S. President George Bush sought the resignation of General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan for alleged violation of the Hatch Act dealing with candidate support and a no-bid federal contract.

Thought for the day: William Randolph Hearst reportedly said, "A politician will do anything to keep his job -- even become a patriot."


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