The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, March 2, the 61st day of 2011 with 304 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include statesman DeWitt Clinton, chief sponsor of the Erie Canal project, in 1769; Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas, in 1793; Pope Leo XIII in 1810; journalist, politician and reformer Carl Schurz in 1829; Pope Pius XII in 1876; publisher Max Schuster in 1897; German composer Kurt Weill in 1900; children's author "Dr. Seuss," Theodor Geisel, in 1904; baseball player Mel Ott in 1909; entertainer Desi Arnaz in 1917; actors Jennifer Jones in 1919 and John Cullum in 1930 (age 81); former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and writer Tom Wolfe, both in 1931 (age 80); author John Irving and singer Lou Reed, both in 1942 (age 69); singer Karen Carpenter in 1950; comedian Laraine Newman in 1952 (age 59), rock singer Jon Bon Jovi in 1962 (age 49); actor Daniel Craig in 1968 (age 43), musician Chris Martin in 1977 (age 34); and NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 1982 (age 29).

On this date in history:

In 1836, Texas proclaimed its independence from Mexico.

In 1925, the first system of interstate highway numbering was introduced in the United States.

In 1943, in the Battle of Bismarck Sea, U.S. warplanes attacked a Japanese convoy en route to New Guinea in the South Pacific, eventually blocking Japan's attempt to send in reinforcements.

In 1945, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.

In 1949, a U.S. Air Force plane piloted by Capt. James Gallagher completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight in just more than 94 hours.

In 1962, Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain set the single-game NBA scoring record by scoring 100 points.

In 1991, Yugoslavia's federal army was sent to Croatia to protect Serbs after violence erupted between Croatian security forces and villagers.

In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush vetoed a bill linking improvements in human rights to continued most-favored-nation trade status for China.

In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush said he was setting up a committee to explore a run for the White House.

In 2000, a longtime political fundraiser for U.S. Vice President Al Gore was convicted for arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations in 1996.

In 2004, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., locked up the Democratic presidential nomination with a series of primary victories.

Also in 2004, at least 125 people died in explosions at two Shiite shrines in Iraq.

In 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to scrutinize spending and taxes to help solve the problem of federal budget deficits that he called "unsustainable."

In 2006, the United States and India announced agreement on a plan to allow India to buy U.S. nuclear fuel and reactor components. India in return reportedly would separate military and civilian nuclear programs and allow inspections.

In 2007, U.S. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey announced his resignation amid charges of poor conditions for patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

In 2008, outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's choice as his successor, Dmitri Medvedev, was elected president in a landslide. Putin remained in power as prime minister.

Also in 2008, the latest clash between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate with more than 100 Palestinians killed in five days of intense fighting.

In 2009, American International Group, the insurance giant whose massive failure helped bring on the global financial crisis, reported a record U.S. quarterly loss of $61.7 billion. The federal government in bailout and extended financing paid AIG about $180 billion to keep the firm afloat.

Also in 2009, the CIA was accused of destroying 92 tapes recording harsh interrogation proceedings with the al-Qaida terror suspects.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a program that would offer rebates to American consumers who invest to make their homes energy efficient.

Also in 2010, heavy rains spawned floods in southern Haiti, still recovering from a powerful January earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and rendered about 1.3 million homeless. The flooding claimed at least 13 victims.

A thought for the day: Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Sometimes when you stand face to face with someone, you cannot see his face."

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