The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, March 16, the 75th day of 2011 with 290 to follow.

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


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; comedian Henny Youngman in 1906; former U.S. first lady Pat Nixon in 1912; actors Mercedes McCambridge in 1916 and Leo McKern in 1920; entertainer Jerry Lewis in 1926 (age 85); former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., in 1927; filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci in 1940 (age 71); game-show host Chuck Woolery in 1941 (age 70); musician Jerry Jeff Walker in 1942 (age 69); actor Erik Estrada in 1949 (age 62); actor Kate Nelligan in 1951 (age 60); singer Nancy Wilson (Heart) in 1954 (age 57); rapper Flavor Flav in 1959 (age 52); film director Gore Verbinski in 1964 (age 47); and musician Wolfgang Van Halen in 1991 (age 20).


On this date in history:

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 2002, Crown Prince Abdallah, the defacto leader of Saudi Arabia, told U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that it wasn't in the best interests of the United States or the region for the United States to attack Iraq.

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, the U.S. government said.

In 2008, with the Bear Stearns investment bank teetering on the brink of collapse on Wall Street, the Federal Reserve in New York approved a $30 billion loan to JP Morgan Chase to back a bargain buyout of Bear Sterns stock.


In 2009, Japan reported its gross domestic product fell at a 12.7 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2008, plunging the country into what experts say was its worst financial crisis since World War II.

In 2010, Bangkok demonstrators broke through a police blockade to pour buckets of their own blood in front of official Thai buildings in a protest aimed at ousting the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Also in 2010, recognized by the Guinness book of records as the world's smallest man, 21-year-old He Pingping of China, only 29 inches tall, died of heart problems.

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."

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