The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, May 31, the 151st day of 2009 with 214 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 poet Walt Whitman and surgeon William Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, both in 1819; radio humorist Fred Allen in 1894; clergyman-author Norman Vincent Peale in 1898; actor Don Ameche in 1908; U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash., in 1912; Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1923; actor/director Clint Eastwood in 1930 (age 79); Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow in 1938 (age 71); country singer Johnny Paycheck in 1938; actress Sharon Gless ("Cagney and Lacey"), in 1943 (age 66); actors Tom Berenger and Gregory Harrison, both in 1950 (age 59), and Kyle Secor ("Homicide: Life on the Street") in 1958 (age 51); actor/writer Chris Elliot in 1960 (age 49); and actress/model Brooke Shields in 1965 (age 44).

On this date in history:

In 1790, U.S. President George Washington signed into law the first U.S. copyright law.


In 1889, a flood in Johnstown, Pa., left more than 2,200 people dead.

In 1902, Britain and South Africa signed a peace treaty ending the Boer War.

In 1962, Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.

In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to cut off funds for U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

In 1985, seven federally insured banks in Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It was a single-day record for closings since the FDIC was founded in 1934.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened a four-day summit in Washington, focusing on the role of a united Germany in Europe.

In 1994, U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., was indicted on felony charges, including embezzlement.

In 2003, Eric Robert Rudolph, the long-sought fugitive in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing and attacks on abortion clinics and a gay nightclub, in which two died, was arrested while rummaging through a dumpster in North Carolina.

In 2004, a bomb ripped through a Shiite mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, while worshippers were saying evening prayers. Sixteen people were killed.


In 2005, Mark Felt admitted that, while No. 2 man in the FBI, he was "Deep Throat," the shadowy contact whose help to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the 1972 Watergate break-in led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush called on the world's top polluters to develop together a strategy to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

Also in 2007, a civilian Nigerian president was succeeded by another civilian for the first time in history.

In 2008, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois moved closer to capturing the Democratic presidential nomination. At the end of May, the last full month on the party's primary calendar. Obama led Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by a reported more than 150 delegates.

Democratic leaders, meanwhile, lifted their delegate embargo against Florida and Michigan at the national nominating convention for holding earlier than scheduled primaries but awarded each delegate just half a vote.

A thought for the day: Leo Tolstoy said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."

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