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The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Tuesday, May 17 the 137th day of 2011 with 228 to go.

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

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include English physician Edward Jenner, developer of the smallpox vaccine, in 1749; English writer Robert Surtees in 1805; Schuyler Wheeler, inventor of the electric fan, in 1860; French composer Erik Satie in 1866; Negro League baseball player and Hall of Fame member James "Cool Papa" Bell in 1903; musician Taj Mahal in 1942 (age 69); actors Maureen O'Sullivan in 1911, Dennis Hopper in 1936, Bill Paxton in 1955 (age 56) and Bob Saget in 1956 (age 55); boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in 1956 (age 55); sports broadcaster Jim Nantz in 1959 (age 52); New Age singer Enya in 1961 (age 50); comedian Craig Ferguson in 1962 (age 49).

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On this date in history:

In 1792, 24 brokers met in New York City and formed the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1875, Aristides was the winner of the first Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

In 1954, in a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

In 1973, the U.S. Senate Watergate Committee opened hearings into the break-in at Democratic National headquarters in Washington.

In 1987, two Iraqi Exocet missiles hit the frigate USS Stark in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 seamen. Iraq apologized for mistaking the ship's identity and the Stark's top officers were reprimanded and retired.

In 1989, 1 million people demonstrated for democratic reforms in Beijing. The number of students fasting to support the drive reached 3,000.

In 1994, the U.N. Security Council approved sending troops to secure the airport in the civil war-torn African nation of Rwanda.

Also in 1994, a 30-year dictatorship ended in Malawi with the election of a new president in the African nation.

In 1995, a preliminary report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics found "substantial credible evidence" that Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., made unwanted sexual advances toward a number of women.

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In 1999, Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lost his bid for re-election when Israeli voters elected Ehud Barak, head of the center-left Israel One coalition, to succeed him.

In 2000, prosecutors in Birmingham, Ala., charged two longtime suspects in the deaths of four girls in a church bombing in 1963 that became a watershed event in the civil rights movement. The suspects were convicted in May 2001.

In 2004, the president of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, was assassinated in Baghdad by a suicide bomber.

Also in 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In 2005, Los Angeles voters elected Antonio Villaraigosa as the city's first Hispanic mayor since 1872.

In 2007, the United States' "minority" citizenship topped the 100 million mark, about one-third of the total American population, the U.S. Census Bureau said. Hispanics made up the largest group, edging African-Americans 44.3 million to 40.2 million.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama called for civility and compromise on the divisive abortion issue in an address to graduates of Notre Dame University, the noted Catholic school that drew considerable criticism from some abortion foes for its invitation to a pro abortion rights president to speak.

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Also in 2009, Pakistani military officials reported killing 1,000 militants, severely weakening Taliban control of the North-West Frontier province.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the sentencing of a juvenile to life in prison for a non-homicide case, calling the practice unconstitutional and cruel and unusual punishment.

Also in 2010, U. S. President Barack Obama chose Deputy FBI Director John S. Pistole to head up the Transportation Security Administration.


A thought for the day: Frank Lloyd Wright said, "The physician can bury his mistakes but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."

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