The Almanac -- weekly

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, March 15, the 75th day of 2010 with 291 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, in 1767; German immunologist Emil von Behring in 1854; Hollywood movie mogul Lew Wasserman in 1913; actor Joe E. Ross in 1915; trumpet virtuoso and bandleader Harry James in 1916; football Hall of Fame inductee Norm Van Brocklin in 1926; astronaut Alan Bean in 1932 (age 78); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1933 (age 77); actor Judd Hirsch and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, both in 1935 (age 75); rock musicians Phil Lesh in 1940 (age 70) and Ry Cooder in 1947 (age 63); singers Mike Love of the Beach Boys in 1941 (age 69) and Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone in 1943 (age 67); actor Park Overall in 1957 (age 53); model Fabio Lanzoni, in 1959 (age 51); singers Bret Michaels in 1953 (age 47) and in 1975 (age 35); and actor Eva Longoria in 1975 (age 35).


On this date in history:

In 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and other Roman nobles in Rome.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World.

In 1776, South Carolina declared independence from Great Britain and set up its own government, the first American colony to do so.

In 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise between the North and the South, Maine was admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. It had been administered as a province of Massachusetts since 1647.

In 1906, Rolls-Royce Limited was incorporated.

In 1916, U.S. Army General John "Black Jack" Pershing marched into Mexico to capture revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, who had staged several cross-border raids. The two-year expedition was unsuccessful.

In 1985, two decades of military rule in Brazil ended with the installation of a civilian government.

In 1990, the Israeli Knesset brought down Yitzhak Shamir's government on a no-confidence motion after the Likud Party leader refused to accept a U.S. peace proposal.

In 1991, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic declared Serbia's secession from the Yugoslav federation.

In 1997, the rebellion in Zaire continued as Kisangani, the African nation's third-largest city, fell to rebel forces.


In 2001, Chechen militants hijacked a Russian airliner en route from Istanbul, Turkey, to Moscow and diverted it to Medina, Saudi Arabia. After nearly 24 hours of fruitless negotiations, a Saudi security team stormed the plane and freed the hostages.

In 2003, a strange new illness with pneumonia-like symptoms called severe acute respiratory syndrome -- SARS -- spread from Asia to Europe to North America.

In 2004, astronomers reported finding an object with a diameter of 800 to 1,100 miles circling the sun far beyond the orbit of any known planet. It was dubbed a "planetoid."

In 2006, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein testified for the first time in his massacre trial, calling the judicial proceedings a comedy and urging his fellow Iraqis to stop fighting each other and focus on the United States.

Also in 2006, the United Nations approved a new human rights council aimed at banning countries that abuse human rights from membership.

In 2007, Palestinian leaders of Hamas and Fatah agreed to a coalition government but their platform didn't recognize Israel or renounce violence.

In 2008, a 19-story industrial crane collapsed on the East Side of New York's Manhattan, demolishing an apartment building and other structures. Four construction workers were killed and 13 others were hurt.


In 2009, U.S. government data said GM auto sales in February fell 53 percent below the previous year. Other data showed Ford sales were down 48 percent and Chrysler sales down 44 percent. Among the foreign cars, Toyota was off 40 percent from the previous year and Honda 38 percent.

A thought for the day: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told an interviewer, "The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control."

Today is Tuesday, March 16, the 75th day of 2010 with 290 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include James Madison, fourth president of the United States, in 1751; German physicist Georg Ohm, a pioneer in the study of electricity, in 1789; naturalist Marlin Perkins in 1905; comedian Henny Youngman in 1906; former U.S. first lady Pat Nixon in 1912; actors Mercedes McCambridge in 1916, Leo McKern in 1920 and Jerry Lewis in 1926 (age 84); former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., in 1927; filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci in 1940 (age 70); game-show host Chuck Woolery in 1941 (age 69); musician Jerry Jeff Walker in 1942 (age 68); actors Erik Estrada in 1949 (age 61) and Kate Nelligan in 1950 (age 60); musicians Nancy Wilson in 1954 (age 56), Patty Griffin in 1964 (age 46) and Wolfgang Van Halen in 1991 (age 19); actor Lauren Graham in 1967 (age 43); and rapper Flavor Flav in 1959 (age 51).


On this date in history:

In 37, Caligula became Roman emperor.

In 1802, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

In 1827, Freedom's Journal, the first black newspaper in America, was published in New York.

In 1926, Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid-fuel rocket.

In 1966, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott docked their Gemini 8 space vehicle with an Agena craft, a first in orbital history.

In 1968, some 300 Vietnam villagers died at the hands of U.S. troops in what came to be known as the My Lai massacre.

In 1978, the U.S. Senate approved the first of two Panama Canal pacts, guaranteeing neutrality of the canal after Panama assumed control at the end of 1999.

In 1991, Baghdad claimed its troops had crushed an uprising in southern Iraq that began in the wake of the Gulf War.

In 1992, a state court in Los Angeles awarded humorist Art Buchwald and producer Alain Bernheim $900,000 from Paramount Studios for Buchwald's idea for the movie "Coming to America," which was a hit for comedian Eddie Murphy.

In 1994, the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea barred its inspectors from checking one of the nation's seven nuclear sites.


In 1998, in a 14-page statement, the Vatican apologized for not doing more to prevent the killing of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

In 2004, Hans Blix, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector in Iraq, criticized the Bush administration for having "a set mind" about going to war with Iraq, calling the search for weapons of mass destruction an old-fashioned witch hunt.

In 2006, Iraq's recently elected 275-member parliament convened for the first time in Baghdad but did little and adjourned after 30 minutes.

In 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who admitted he masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, revealed that he personally executed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl the following year in Pakistan.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to "pursue every legal avenue" to cut large bonuses handed to executives by insurance giant AIG after the company was to receive $170 billion in bailout funds.

A thought for the day: Art Buchwald said: "People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him."

Today is Wednesday, March 17, the 76th day of 2010 with 289 to follow.


This is St. Patrick's Day.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include former Chief Justice of the United States Roger Brooke Taney in 1777; German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, inventor of the gasoline-burning internal combustion engine, in 1834; children's author and illustrator Kate Greenaway in 1846; composer Alfred Newman in 1901; golf legend Bobby Jones in 1902; football Hall of fame inductee Sammy Baugh in 1914; singer/pianist Nat "King" Cole in 1919; astronaut James Irwin in 1930; ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in 1938; serial killer John Wayne Gacy in 1942; singer John Sebastian in 1944 (age 66); actors Patrick Duffy in 1949 (age 61), Kurt Russell in 1951 (age 59), Lesley-Anne Down in 1954 (age 56), Gary Sinise in 1955 (age 55), Rob Lowe in 1964 (age 46) and Vicki Lewis in 1960 (age 50); soccer star Mia Hamm in 1972 (age 38); and Caroline Corr, of the Irish pop band The Corrs, in 1973 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1762, New York City staged the first parade honoring the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It was led by Irish soldiers serving in the British army.


In 1776, the Continental Army under Gen. George Washington forced British troops to evacuate Boston.

In 1845, British officials granted a patent to Stephen Perry for the rubber band.

In 1901, 71 paintings by the late Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh were shown at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris and caused a sensation across the art world.

In 1941, the National Gallery of Art opened in Washington.

In 1945, the bloody World War II battle against Japanese forces for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima ended in victory for the United States.

In 1958, the U.S. Navy launched the satellite Vanguard 1 into orbit around the Earth.

In 1969, Golda Meir installed as first female prime minister of Israel.

In 1978, the tanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground on the coast of Brittany in France, eventually spilling 220,000 tons of crude oil.

In 1992, South African whites voted to end minority rule.

Also in 1992, 10 people were killed and at least 126 injured in a bomb blast that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1999, the International Olympic Committee voted to expel six members in connection with the bribery scandal related to the effort by Salt Lake City to win the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Five other IOC members had earlier resigned.


In 2003, as war with Iraq seemed a certainty, U.S. President George W. Bush gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave the country but the ultimatum was rejected. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan ordered all U.N. personal out of Iraq.

In 2004, more than 25 people were reported killed and 41 injured in a car-bomb blast at the Mount Lebanon Hotel in Baghdad.

In 2005, several major league baseball players told the U.S. Congress that steroids were a problem in the sport.

In 2006, a U.S. appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Administration cannot exempt older power plants and refineries from the Clean Air Act, voting unanimously against the Bush administration's interpretation of the law.

Also in 2006, General Motors said its actual losses the year before were $10 billion, some $2 billion more than previously reported.

In 2007, the Palestinian legislature approved the Hamas-dominated unity government though leaders of the Hamas and Fatah factions remained divided on Israeli issues.

In 2008, Iraqi officials reported a female suicide bomber, apparently targeting Shiite worshipers, killed at least 42 people and wounded 58 others in Karbala.

Also in 2008, three dozen bodies were found buried in a residential backyard in Juarez, Mexico, near the U.S. border, believed enemies of the Juarez drug cartel and second mass burial found in a week.


And, Eliot Spitzer resigned as governor of New York after a scandal involved a high-priced prostitute.

In 2009, Russia announced its armed forces would undergo a comprehensive modernization starting in 2011 to "respond to a changing world geopolitical situation."

A thought for the day: George Washington wrote, "Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."

Today is Thursday, March 18, the 77th day of 2010 with 288 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include John C. Calhoun, the first U.S. vice president to resign that office, in 1782; Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States, in 1837; Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1844; German engineer Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name, in 1858; British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1869; clairvoyant and therapist Edgar Cayce in 1877; actors Edward Everett Horton in 1886 and Robert Donat in 1905; wine maker Ernest Gallo in 1909; auto racing promoter Andy Granatelli in 1923 (age 87); actor Peter Graves in 1926 (age 84); authors George Plimpton in 1927 and John Updike in 1932; former South African President F.W. de Klerk in 1936 (age 74); country singer Charley Pride in 1938 (age 72) and singer/songwriter Wilson Pickett in 1941; singer Irene Cara in 1962 (age 48); actress/singer Vanessa Williams in 1963 (age 47); Olympic skater Bonnie Blair in 1964 (age 46); and rapper/actress Queen Latifah in 1970 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience against the British rulers of India.

In 1926, the worst tornado in U.S. history roared through eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and southern Indiana, killing 695 people, injuring 13,000 others and causing $17 million in property damage.

In 1931, the first electric razor was marketed by Schick, Inc.

In 1937, a natural gas explosion at a public school in New London, Texas, killed 410 people, most of them children.

In 1962, France and Algeria signed a cease-fire ending a seven-year civil war and bringing independence to the North African country.

In 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov became the first person to walk in space.

In 1968, U.S. Congress removed gold reserve requirement for U.S. currency.

In 1992, hotel queen and convicted tax cheat Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison.

In 1993, Contra rebels freed five hostages they held at the Nicaraguan Embassy in Costa Rica after the two sides agreed to begin talks to end the 10-day siege.

In 1995, Michael Jordan announced he was returning to professional basketball and the Chicago Bulls after a 17-month break, during which he had tried a baseball career.


In 1997, Zaire's parliament fired Premier Leon Kengo wa Dondo and opened negotiations with rebel leader Laurent Kabila.

In 2000, opposition candidate Chen Shui-bian was elected president of Taiwan, ending more than 50 years of Nationalist Party rule.

In 2003, on the eve of war with Iraq, the U.S. State Department listed 30 countries as members of a "coalition of the willing" supporting military intervention but only the United States, Britain and Australia were known to be providing troops.

In 2004, a top U.S. scientist told lawmakers that all bovines slated for consumption should be tested for mad cow disease which he called "the greatest threat to the safety of the human food supply in modern times."

In 2005, doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care.

Also in 2005, Ukraine admitted to exporting missiles, designed to carry nuclear warheads, to Iran and China.

In 2006, an estimated 500,000 people took to the streets in French cities and towns for a protest against a new labor law that allowed employers to dismiss workers under the age of 26 for any reason during the first two years on the job.


In 2007, Israel's Cabinet voted unanimously to boycott the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian unity government.

In 2008, Barack Obama, the front-runner in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination, denounced the "profoundly distorted" view of U.S. racial relations in controversial remarks by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but said he could not reject the man himself. Wright's comments ignited a political firestorm.

In 2009, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the U.S. Army would phase out its "stop-loss" policy under which thousands of American soldiers whose military obligations were ending were forced to stay in uniform if their units were about to ship out to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Also in 2009, New Mexico banned the death penalty, replacing it with life imprisonment with no chance for parole.

A thought for the day: "Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better." John Updike said that.

Today is Friday, March 19, the 78th day of 2010 with 287 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford in 1590; Scottish explorer of Africa David Livingstone in 1813; British explorer and writer Richard Francis Burton in 1821; Marshal Wyatt Earp in 1848; jurist William Jennings Bryan in 1860; Chief U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren in 1891; "Watergate" Judge John Sirica in 1904; Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann in 1906; Hungarian chess grandmaster Laszlo Szabo in 1917; actor Patrick McGoohan in 1928; author Philip Roth in 1933 (age 77); Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, in 1944 (age 66); actors Ursula Andress in 1936 (age 74), Glenn Close in 1947 (age 63) and Bruce Willis in 1955 (age 55); and film producer Harvey Weinstein in 1952 (age 58).


On this date in history:

In 721 B.C., the Roman historian Ptolemy said Babylonian astronomers noted history's first recorded eclipse: an eclipse of the moon.

In 1916, the first U.S. air combat mission in history saw eight Curtiss "Jenny" planes of the First Aero Squadron take off from Columbus, N.M., to aid troops that had invaded Mexico in pursuit of the bandit Pancho Villa.

In 1918, the U.S. Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to establish standard time zones in the United States.

In 1920, the Treaty of Versailles, establishing the League of Nations, was rejected by the U.S. Senate.

In 1931, in an effort to ease the hard times of the Great Depression, the Nevada Legislature voted to legalize gambling.

In 1942, with World War II under way, all men in the United States between the ages of 45 and 64, about 13 million, were ordered to register with the draft boards for non-military duty.

In 1953, legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille won the only Academy Award of his career when "The Greatest Show on Earth," a big-budget extravaganza about circus life, was acclaimed the Best Picture of the year.

In 1979, the U.S. House of Representatives sessions were broadcast for the first time on C-SPAN.


In 1987, South Carolina televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as head of the PTL Club, saying he was blackmailed after a sexual encounter with former church secretary Jessica Hahn.

In 1991, Khaleda Zia became the first woman prime minister of Bangladesh.

In 2002, Israel completed its army's pullout of the West Bank by leaving Bethlehem one day after Israeli Prime Minister Arial Sharon met with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. The following day a suicide bomber killed seven Israelis on a bus.

In 2003, the U.S.-led military offensive invaded Iraq with a nighttime assault on Baghdad.

Also in 2003, the U.S. Senate rejected a proposal supported by the Bush administration to allow drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2004, on the first anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, officials said 571 U.S. military personnel had been killed.

In 2005, Pakistan was reported to have successfully tested a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 1,250 miles.

In 2006, the disputed presidential election in Belarus sparked street protests throughout the country while international observers alleged fraud. Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, who claimed 82.6 percent of the vote, was accused of rigging the election.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush, in a speech marking the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war, said he saw some gains through the recent troop surge but it would take months to show substantial progress.


Also in 2007, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay allegedly admitted helping plan the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, and the USS Cole in Yemen.

In 2008, for the sixth time in six months, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut short term interest rates, this time to 2.25 percent, in an effort to stabilize financial markets.

Also in 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush marked the five-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by calling it a fight the United States "can and must win." He said removing Saddam Hussein from power "was the right decision."

In 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a $5 billion program to help struggling auto parts dealers whose businesses had suffered along with major car companies.

A thought for the day: William Jennings Bryan said: "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."

Today is Saturday, March 20, the 79th day of 2010 with 286 to follow.

This is the first day of spring.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Roman poet Ovid in 43 B.C.; adventurer and writer Edward Judson, originator of the dime novel, writing as Ned Buntline, in 1823; Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1828; psychologist B.F. Skinner in 1904; actor/bandleader Ozzie Nelson in 1906; former New York Mayor Abe Beame in 1906; British actor Michael Redgrave in 1908; diplomat and socialite Pamela Harriman in 1920; actor, producer, director Carl Reiner in 1922 (age 88); Fred Rogers (TV's "Mister Rogers") in 1928; actor Hal Linden in 1931 (age 79); singer/songwriter Jerry Reed in 1937; former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1939 (age 71); basketball coach Pat Riley in 1945 (age 65); former hockey star Bobby Orr in 1948 (age 62); actor William Hurt in 1950 (age 60); blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan in 1951 (age 59); filmmaker Spike Lee and actor Theresa Russell, both in 1957 (age 53); actor Holly Hunter in 1958 (age 52); actor David Thewlis and model Kathy Ireland, both in 1963 (age 47).

On this date in history:

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was published.

In 1854, in what is considered the founding meeting of the Republican Party, former members of the Whig Party met in Ripon, Wis., to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.


In 1916, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity.

In 1963, a volcano on the East Indies island of Bali erupted, killing 1,500.

In 1976, San Francisco newspaper heiress and kidnapping victim Patty Hearst was convicted of bank robbery.

In 1977, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son, Sanjay, lost parliamentary races in India's general elections.

In 1986, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 1,800 for the first time.

In 1987, the federal government approved the sale of AZT, a treatment but not a cure for AIDS.

In 1991, Baghdad was warned to abide by the cease-fire after U.S. fighter jets shot down an Iraqi jet fighter in the first major air action since the end of the Persian Gulf War.

In 1995, 12 people were killed and more than 5,000 made ill by a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system. Members of a religious sect were blamed.

In 1996, the world learned of "mad cow" disease from a British government report questioning the safety of British beef.

In 1997, the Liggett Group, fifth-largest U.S. tobacco company, agreed to admit that smoking was addictive and caused health problems and that the tobacco industry had sought for years to sell its products to children as young as 14.


In 2001, five days after explosions destroyed a support beam, the largest oilrig in the world collapsed and sank off the coast of Brazil.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Peru was preceded by a car bomb explosion outside the U.S. Embassy in Lima that killed nine and injured 30.

Also in 2002, the office of the special prosecutor Robert Ray announced there wasn't enough evidence that either former U.S. President Bill Clinton or his wife Hillary Clinton had committed crimes in connection with the failed Whitewater real estate venture in Arkansas.

In 2003, early ground combat in the Iraq war found U.S. soldiers heading north toward Baghdad and U.S. and British Marines going northeast toward Basra, Iraq's second largest city.

Also in 2003, Brian Patrick Regan, a retired Air Force master sergeant, was sentenced to life in prison for offering to sell intelligence secrets to Saddam Hussein and the Chinese government.

In 2004, after narrowly escaping assassination the day before, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was re-elected with about 50 percent of the vote.

In 2005, more than 30 Shiite Muslim worshippers were killed when a bomb exploded at a shrine in the village of Fatehpur, Pakistan.


Also in 2005, which was Palm Sunday, ailing Pope John Paul II appeared at his window in the Vatican but didn't speak.

In 2006, reports from Iraq said that over a two-week period, nearly 200 bodies were found in Baghdad, apparent victims of execution or torture.

In 2007, an early morning nursing home fire in southern Russia killed at least 62 people and injured 30 others.

Also in 2007, former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was hanged in Baghdad for his part in the 1982 deaths of 148 Shiites.

In 2008, despite China's claims of calm in Tibet, various reports indicated Tibetan protests against Chinese rule were spreading to other regions.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama revealed plans for fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban by sending additional troops to Afghanistan and increasing aid to Pakistan.

A thought for the day: "Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of 10 people couldn't start a conversation." Kin Hubbard said that.

Today is Sunday, March 21, the 80th day of 2010 with 285 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include composer Johann Sebastian Bach in 1685; Mexican revolutionary and president Benito Juarez in 1806; Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1839; theatrical impresario Florenz Ziegfeld in 1869; English theatrical director Peter Brook in 1925 (age 85); musician Eddie Money in 1949 (61); and actors James Coco in 1930, Al Freeman Jr. in 1934 (age 76), Timothy Dalton in 1946 (age 64), Gary Oldman in 1958 (age 52) and Matthew Broderick and Rosie O'Donnell, both in 1962 (age 48).

On this date in history:

In 1617, Pocahontas died in England at about age 22. Three years earlier, she converted to Christianity, taken the name Rebecca and married Englishman John Rolfe.

In 1790, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia became the first U.S. secretary of state.

In 1918, U.S. and German soldiers fought the World War I battle of the Somme.

In 1945, 7,000 Allied planes dropped more than 12,000 tons of explosives on Germany during a single World War II daytime bombing raid.

In 1960, police opened fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators in the black township of Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, killing 69 people and wounding 180.


In 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pledged that Russia would cooperate with the United States in peaceful exploration of space. The joint American-Soviet Soyuz space mission was conducted in July 1975.

In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators, led by Martin Luther King Jr., began a four-day march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, Ala., to demand federal protection of voting rights.

In 1984, the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk collided with a nuclear-powered Soviet submarine in the Sea of Japan.

In 1993, Nicaraguan rebels ended their 13-day seizure of the Nicaraguan Embassy, freeing the last 11 hostages under a deal that gave them asylum in the Dominican Republic.

In 1999, balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones landed near Cairo, Egypt, after becoming the first to circle the globe by balloon.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II, referring to the sexual abuse scandal that had shaken the Roman Catholic clergy, said in a letter that "a dark shadow of suspicion" had fallen over all priests because of the behavior of those who had succumbed to "the most grievous forms" of evil.

In 2003, some 1,300 missiles struck Baghdad after dark in part of what the Pentagon dubbed its "shock-and-awe" offensive as journalists imbedded with the troops reported from the battleground. Meanwhile, U.S. troops seized major oil fields near Basra.


Also in 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion budget embracing President George W. Bush's tax-cutting plan.

In 2004, for the third consecutive year, Wal-Mart Stores was ranked No. 1 among the nation's largest companies on Fortune Magazine's 50th annual Fortune 500 list.

In 2005, a 17-year-old youth at the northern Minnesota Indian Reservation of Red Lake killed nine people, wounded 12 others and then killed himself.

Also in 2005, the number of undocumented residents in the United States totaled 11 million people, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report.

In 2006, about 100 armed Iraqi insurgents stormed a jail north of Baghdad, killing 18 policemen and freeing 10 prisoners. Ten of the attackers were reported killed.

In 2007, some 400,000 public sector workers staged a general strike in Israel, shutting down airports, railways and seaports over unpaid wages.

In 2009, in another incident in a series of multiple homicides, Lovelle Mixon, an Oakland, Calif., man with a long criminal record, killed four police officers before he died in a police shootout. Two bystanders also were fatally shot.

A thought for the day: Thomas Jefferson advised, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."


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