The almanac

United Press International

Today is Thursday, May 28, the 148th day of 2009 with 217 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include British statesman William Pitt in 1759; naturalist Louis Agassiz in 1807; Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe in 1888; British novelist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in 1908; biologist and politician Barry Commoner in 1917 (age 92); actress Carroll Baker in 1931 (age 78); Annette and Cecile Dionne, surviving members of Canada's Dionne quintuplets, in 1934 (age 75); singer Gladys Knight and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, both in 1944 (age 65); and actresses Sondra Locke in 1947 (age 62) and Christa Miller in 1964 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1798, the U.S. Congress empowered President John Adams to recruit an American army of 10,000 volunteers.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was founded by famed naturalist John Muir.

In 1934, the Dionne sisters, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, Maria and Annette, first documented set of quintuplets to survive, were born near Callander, Ontario, and soon became world famous. Emilie died in 1954, Maria in 1970 and Yvonne in 2001.


In 1961, Amnesty International was founded in London by lawyer Peter Berenson.

In 1987, West German Mathias Rust, 19, flew a single-engine plane from Finland through Soviet radar and landed beside the Kremlin in Moscow. Three days later, the Soviet defense minister and his deputy were fired.

In 1988, Syrian troops moved into southern Beirut to end 22 days of fighting between rival Shiite Muslim militias.

In 1995, Bosnia's foreign minister and five other people were killed when Serb forces downed their helicopter.

In 1996, Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former business associates of U.S. President Bill Clinton were convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with Whitewater loans. Tucker resigned.

In 1998, Pakistan conducted five underground nuclear tests, prompting U.S. President Bill Clinton to impose economic sanctions against the Asian nation.

Also in 1998, in a first, digitized pictures taken by the Hubbell Space Telescope seemed to show an image of a planet outside the solar system. The planet circled two stars in the constellation Taurus.

In 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori easily won the runoff election but nationwide demonstrations against him continued and he would resign in September.

In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law his modified tax reduction plan which lowered the tax rate for upper- and middle-income taxpayers and trimmed rates on capital gains and dividends.


Also in 2003, a spokesman for al-Qaida told an Arabic-language magazine the terror network wanted to poison the U.S. water supply.

In 2004, the Iraqi governing council gave unanimous approval to the appointment of Iyad Alawi, a prominent secular-minded Shiite and anti-Saddam exile, as prime minister.

In 2007, diplomats from the United States and Iran met in Baghdad in the first formal talks between the two nations in 27 years.

Also in 2007, the co-owners of a Greek excursion company were charged with manslaughter and causing bodily harm through negligence in the deaths of at least six holiday hikers in a rain-swollen river in southern Greece.

In 2008, Nepal's newly elected Constituent Assembly voted to dissolve the 239-year-old monarchy and form a republic. King Gyanendra was given 15 days to step down.

Also in 2008, New York Gov. David Paterson directed all state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, though such weddings are not legal in New York.

A thought for the day: Ambrose Bierce defined painting as "The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic."

Latest Headlines