The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, May 29, the 149th day of 2009 with 216 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include King Charles II of England in 1630; patriot Patrick Henry in 1736; Ebenezer Butterick, inventor of the tissue paper dress pattern, in 1826; English novelist G.K. Chesterton in 1874; movie composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold in 1897; entertainer Bob Hope in 1903; John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, in 1917; actors Anthony Geary ("General Hospital") in 1948 (age 61), Annette Bening in 1958 (age 51), Rupert Everett and Adrian Paul, both in 1959 (age 50), and Lisa Whelchel in 1963 (age 46) and singers Melissa Etheridge in 1961 (age 48) and Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls in 1975 (age 34).

On this date in history:

In 1453, Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Byzantine Empire, was captured by the Turks.

In 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne.


In 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 states to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1848, following approval by the territory's citizens, Wisconsin entered the Union as the 30th state.

In 1865, U.S. President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation giving a general amnesty to all who took part in the rebellion against the United States.

In 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.

In 1977, a flash fire swept through a nightclub in Southgate, Ky., killing 162 people and injuring 30.

In 1985, British soccer fans attacked Italian fans preceding the European Cup final in Brussels. The resulting stadium stampede killed 38 people and injured 400.

In 1989, Chinese students in Tiananmen Square erected a 33-foot statue similar to the Statue of Liberty.

In 1990, renegade communist Boris Yeltsin was elected president of Russia.

In 1996, in Israel's first selection of a prime minister by direct vote, Binyamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres to become leader of Israel. The margin of victory was less than 1 percent.

In 1997, Zaire rebel leader Laurent Kabila was sworn in as president of what was again being called the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


In 2000, the Indonesian government placed former President Suharto under house arrest on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

In 2002, FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington might have been avoided if the FBI had acted on available information.

In 2003, comedian Bob Hope was honored by the White House on his 100th birthday with establishment of the Bob Hope Patriotism Award for those showing extraordinary love of country and devotion to the personnel of the U.S. armed forces.

In 2004, the World War II memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington. Some 70,000 veterans of that war were on hand.

Also in 2004, a residential compound in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, was invaded by four armed militants who killed 22 and wounded 25, mostly workers in the oil industry from several counties.

In 2006, relief workers struggled to prevent sickness and hunger among hundreds of thousands of survivors from the Indonesian earthquake in Java. More than 5,000 people were killed in the 6.3 magnitude quake.

Also in 2006, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe won a second term by a sizable margin.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush announced tougher economical sanctions against Sudan for failure to adequately help end the humanitarian crisis in the country's embattled Darfur region.


Also in 2007, two car bombings within an hour killed 38 people and injured at least 100 others in Baghdad. Elsewhere, reports said gunmen abducted five British workers at the Iraqi Finance Ministry headquarters.

In 2008, wildfires burning in Canada's central province of Manitoba forced at least 1,000 people to be evacuated from four northern communities with two more towns on standby. Officials reported at least 53 dead with 28 missing.

A thought for the day: Franz Kafka wrote this in his diary: "I have hardly anything in common with myself."

Latest Headlines