The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 23, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2009 with 222 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Venus, Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter. The evening star is Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, the father of modern systematic botany, in 1707; Austrian physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer in 1734; social reformer Sarah Margaret Fuller in 1810; U.S. Army Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who later was a U.S. senator and for whom sideburns were named, in 1824; actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1883; clarinetist/bandleader Artie Shaw in 1910; singer Helen O'Connell in 1920; singer Rosemary Clooney in 1928; actresses Barbara Barrie in 1931 (age 78) and Joan Collins in 1933 (age 76); Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, in 1934; actor Charles Kimbrough ("Murphy Brown") in 1936 (age 73); and comedian Drew Carey in 1958 (age 51).

On this date in history:

In 1701, Capt. William Kidd was hanged in London for piracy and murder.

In 1900, U.S. Army Sgt. William H. Carney became the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He was cited for his efforts during the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner, S.C., in June 1863.

In 1939, the U.S. Navy submarine "Squalus" went down off New Hampshire in 240 feet of water. Thirty-three of the 59 men aboard were saved in a daring rescue with a diving bell.

In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and spirited him to Israel, where he was tried, convicted and hanged.

In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal regulations prohibiting federally funded women's clinics from discussing or advising abortion with patients.

In 1994, four men convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

Also in 1994, the body of former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest next to her first husband, President John F. Kennedy, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1997, Mohammed Khatami, a "moderate" who favored improved economic ties with the West, was elected president of Iran.

In 2002, Roman Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee acknowledged paying $450,000 in church funds in response to a claim that he had sexually assaulted a graduate student, then 33. Weakland, 75, who retired after the 1998 settlement became known, denied any sexual misconduct.

In 2004, a double-decker ferry carrying more than 200 passengers sank off the Bangladesh coast during a storm with fewer than half of the people reported surviving.

In 2005, Newsweek's chairman said the magazine would restrict the use of unnamed sources in the wake of an item that alleged desecration of the Koran, sparking violent riots and forcing a printed retraction.

In 2006, Amnesty International claimed in its annual report that U.S. anti-terror policies worldwide had undermined human rights in 2005.

In 2007, authorities said newly declassified U.S. intelligence showed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden wanted to set up bases in Iraq to launch attacks on the United States in 2005.

Also in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the United States' plans for a European missile defense system, calling the proposal a "harmful thing."

In 2008, a dozen children taken in a massive raid at a Texas polygamist sect's compound were reunited with their parents but hundreds of others had to await state supreme court action.

Also in 2008, Mexican officials say drug-related killings in the country soared by 50 percent in 2008, with many recent deaths bunched along the U.S. border.

A thought for the day: Lao-Tzu said, "A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step."

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