The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2009 with 243 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 Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, in 1729; Gen. Henry Robert, author of "Robert's Rules of Order," in 1837; pioneer Zionist Theodor Herzl in 1860; Broadway composer Lorenz Hart in 1895; child care specialist Dr. Benjamin Spock in 1903; singer/actor Theodore Bikel in 1924 (age 85); singer Engelbert Humperdinck, born Arnold Dorsey, in 1936 (age 73); activist/singer Bianca Jagger in 1945 (age 64); pop singer Leslie Gore in 1946 (age 63); country singer Larry Gatlin in 1948 (age 61); and actress Christine Baranski in 1952 (age 57).

On this date in history:

In 1519, Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist, scientist and inventor, died at age 67.

In 1611, a new translation of the Bible in England, popularly called the King James Bible after King James I, was published.

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own soldiers. He died eight days later.


In 1941, the Federal Communications Commission approved the regular scheduling of commercial television broadcasts.

In 1933, the modern legend of the Loch Ness monster surfaced when a sighting made the local news. There had been accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland's Loch Ness date back 1,500 years.

In 1972, 91 people were killed in a mine fire in Kellogg, Idaho.

Also in 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died after nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 1989, some 60 Chinese students rode bicycles into Beijing to present demands for democratic reforms to Chinese leaders.

In 1993, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic signed an internationally mediated peace plan to end the Bosnian conflict.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the South African elections in late April. He was inaugurated as the country's first black president eight days later.

Also in 1994, a Wayne County, Mich., jury acquitted "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian of violating a state law forbidding assisted suicides.

In 1995, the Clinton administration announced that Cuban boat people seeking asylum would be henceforth returned to Cuba.

In 1999, a meeting between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic led to the release of three U.S. soldiers captured a month earlier by Serbian troops.


In 2002, Israeli forces pulled out of the West Bank city of Ramallah allowing Yasser Arafat to leave his compound.

In 2003, India announced it was restoring diplomatic relations and transportation connections with Pakistan, which reciprocated a few days later.

In 2004, Nigerian Christian militants attacked the Muslim town of Yelwa with firearms and machetes. The Nigerian Red Cross put the death toll at 630.

In 2005, U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England pleaded guilty to seven counts related to alleged mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In 2007, Afghan officials reported that 42 Afghan civilians had been killed in a U.S. military operation. President Hamid Karzai criticized U.S. and NATO forces for not being more careful in avoiding civilian casualties.

Also in 2007, Rupert Murdoch, chief executive officer of the News Corp., announced a $5 billion offer to take over Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

In 2008, Tropical Cyclone Nargis, with winds up to 120 mph, slammed into densely populated southern Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, killing at least a reported 84,537 people with close to 54,000 missing. Officials said the storm had devastated Yangon, the Asian country's largest city and capital, once called Rangoon.


A thought for the day: Anatole France said, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

Latest Headlines