The almanac

By United Press International
Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Today is Saturday, May 9, the 129th day of 2009 with 236 to follow.

The moon is full. 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 abolitionist John Brown in 1800; Scottish novelist James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan," in 1860; Howard Carter, the Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, in 1874; industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in 1882; Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1883; TV journalist Mike Wallace in 1918 (age 91); tennis champion Richard "Pancho" Gonzalez in 1928; actor Albert Finney in 1936 (age 73); actress Glenda Jackson in 1936 (age 73); TV producer and filmmaker James L. Brooks in 1940 (age 69); former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 1942 (age 67); actress Candice Bergen in 1946 (age 63); and singer/songwriter Billy Joel in 1949 (age 60).


On this date in history:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

In 1926, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.

In 1961, in a speech to TV bigwigs at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as "a vast wasteland."

In 1974, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened its hearing on the possible impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

In 1978, the body of former Italian minister Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.

In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT 2 nuclear arms treaty.

In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida's Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened on April 30, 1987.

In 1987, 183 people died when a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw.

In 1993, thousands of war veterans, politicians and anti-government demonstrators gathered across Moscow and the former Soviet Union to mark the World War II victory over Germany at Stalingrad.


In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.

In 2003, a well-connected Los Angeles socialite, Katrina Leung, who also allegedly acted as a double-agent for China, was formally charged with passing sensitive documents on to Chinese intelligence officers.

In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion at a stadium in Grozny where Russia's World War II victory was being celebrated. Thirty-one other people also died.

In 2005, a federal appeals court ruled that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney didn't have to reveal how the White House energy policies were developed. There had been accusations of alleged industry involvement.

In 2006, the head of Israeli military intelligence predicted that Iran would produce nuclear bombs within four years.

In 2007, a rare truck bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil killed at least 19 people and injured some 70 others at a building housing Interior Ministry offices.

In 2008, U.S. officials renewed the contract of Blackwater Worldwide, the company whose guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007. Blackwater provided security for U.S. diplomats in Iraq.

Also in 2008, the acting chief of the Mexican federal police was assassinated in reported response the government's crackdown on organized crime and drug cartels.


A thought for the day: Benjamin Franklin said, "Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other."

Latest Headlines