The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 31, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, May 31, the 151st day of 2011 with 214 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include poet Walt Whitman and surgeon William Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, both in 1819; radio humorist Fred Allen in 1894; clergyman-author Norman Vincent Peale in 1898; actor Don Ameche in 1908; U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash., in 1912; actor Denholm Elliott in 1922; Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1923; actor/director Clint Eastwood in 1930 (age 81); folk singer Peter Yarrow in 1938 (age 73); country singer Johnny Paycheck also in 1938; human rights activist Terry Waite in 1939 (age 72); actor Sharon Gless and football Hall of Fame member Joe Namath both in 1943 (age 68); rock musician John Bonham in 1948; actors Tom Berenger in 1949 (age 62), Gregory Harrison in 1950 (age 61), Kyle Secor in 1957 (age 54); Lea Thompson in 1961 (age 50) and Colin Farrell in 1976 (age 35); actor/writer Chris Elliot in 1960 (age 51); and actor/model Brooke Shields in 1965 (age 46).

On this date in history:

In 1790, U.S. President George Washington signed into law the first U.S. copyright law.

In 1889, a flood in Johnstown, Pa., left more than 2,200 people dead.

In 1902, Britain and South Africa signed a peace treaty ending the Boer War.

In 1927, the final Ford Model T was built. More than 15 million of the vehicles were produced.

In 1962, Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.

In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to cut off funds for U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

In 1985, seven federally insured banks in Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It was a single-day record for closings since the FDIC was founded in 1934.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev opened a four-day summit in Washington, focusing on the role of a united Germany in Europe.

In 1994, U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., was indicted on felony charges, including embezzlement.

In 2003, Eric Robert Rudolph, the long-sought fugitive in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing and attacks on abortion clinics and a gay nightclub, in which two died, was arrested while rummaging through a dumpster in North Carolina.

In 2004, a bomb ripped through a Shiite mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, while worshippers were saying evening prayers. Sixteen people were killed.

In 2005, Mark Felt admitted that, while No. 2 man in the FBI, he was "Deep Throat," the shadowy contact whose help to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the 1972 Watergate break-in led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush called on the world's top polluters to develop a strategy to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

Also in 2007, a civilian Nigerian president was succeeded by another civilian for the first time.

In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois moved closer to capturing the Democratic presidential nomination. At the end of May, the last full month on the party's primary calendar. Obama led Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by a reported more than 150 delegates.

In 2009, Dr. George Tiller, 67, who ran an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kan., was killed while ushering at a church service. Scott Roeder, a fervent abortion rights opponent, was charged with first-degree murder.

In 2010, a co-founder and No. 3 man of the al-Qaida terrorist network, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was reported killed in an American drone attack in Pakistan.

Also in 2010, Israeli navy commandos attacked a pro-Palestinian humanitarian aid flotilla of cargo ships and passenger boats bound for Gaza. Nine activists on one of the boats, whom Israelis said were clearly hostile, were killed.

A thought for the day: Leo Tolstoy said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."

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