The almanac

By United Press International  |  June 2, 2009 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2009 with 212 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 Martha Washington, the first U.S. first lady, in 1731; French writer Marquis de Sade in 1740; English novelist Thomas Hardy in 1840; English composer Edward Elgar ("Pomp and Circumstance") in 1857; Olympic gold-medal swimmer and "Tarzan" movie star Johnny Weissmuller in 1904; actor-composer Max Showalter in 1917; astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad of Apollo 12 in 1930; actress Sally Kellerman in 1937 (age 72); drummer Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones in 1941 (age 68); actors Stacy Keach in 1941 (age 68) and Charles Haid in 1943 (age 66); composer/pianist Marvin Hamlisch in 1944 (age 65); actor Jerry Mathers ("Leave It to Beaver") in 1948 (age 61); and comedian Dana Carvey in 1955 (age 54).

On this date in history:

In 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate armies of eastern Virginia and North Carolina in the Civil War.

In 1865, the Civil War came to an end when Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signed the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators.

In 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland, 49, married Frances Folsom, the 21-year-old daughter of his former law partner, in a White House ceremony. The bride became the youngest first lady in U.S. history.

In 1924, Congress granted U.S. citizenship to all American Indians.

In 1946, in a national referendum, voters in Italy decided the country should become a republic rather than return to a monarchy.

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in London's Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II returned home to Poland in the first visit by a pope to a communist nation.

In 1992, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination as six states had the final primaries of the 1992 political season.

In 1995, a U.S. F-16 fighter-jet was shot down by a Serb-launched missile while on patrol over Bosnia. The pilot, Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady, ejected safely and landed behind Serb lines. He was rescued six days later.

Also in 1995, Bosnian Serbs began releasing the 370 U.N. peacekeepers held hostage.

In 1997, a federal jury in Denver convicted Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. He was sentenced to death and executed June 11, 2001.

In 1998, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky fired her lawyer, William Ginsburg, and retained two criminal lawyers. They would win her a grant of immunity from prosecution in return for her testimony before the grand jury investigating U.S. President Bill Clinton's alleged relationship with her.

In 1999, in parliamentary elections, South African voters kept the African National Congress in power, assuring that its leader, Thabo Mbeki, would succeed the retiring Nelson Mandela as president.

In 2003, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to eliminate a rule barring a media company from owning both a TV station and a newspaper in the same U.S. market.

Also in 2003, U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said in a report that inspectors before the war had been unable to prove or disprove the presence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

And, the bishop of the Phoenix Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church agreed under threat of indictment to give county prosecutors an unprecedented and powerful role in the church's handling of complaints about sexual abuse by priests.

In 2005, Israel freed 400 Palestinian prisoners in the second move of its kind since Mahmoud Abbas became Palestinian Authority president.

In 2007, an alleged "home-grown" terrorist plot to bomb the jet-fuel pipeline at New York's JFK Airport was broken up with the arrest of three suspects and the pursuit of a fourth.

Also in 2007, a clash between demonstrators and police in Rockstock, Germany, ahead of the G8 summit, left 146 officers injured and as many as 50 protesters in custody.

In 2008, doctors say there were no complications from brain surgery performed on U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy at Duke University Medical Center. The 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat, diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, was reported walking the halls the day after surgery.

Also in 2008, a Texas judge signed an order for the immediate release of hundreds of children seized during a raid on a ranch owned by a polygamist sect. Parents promised not to interfere with the state's continuing investigation into alleged child abuse and neglect.

A thought for the day: Charles Eliot declared that, "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers."

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