The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, March 3, the 63rd day of 2012 with 303 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include English poet Edmund Waller in 1606; industrialist George Pullman, inventor of the railway sleeping car, in 1831; telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell in 1847; Charles Ponzi, convicted of fraud for a pyramid scheme that bears his name, in 1882; U.S. Army Gen. Matthew Ridgway in 1895; movie star Jean Harlow in 1911; "Star Trek" actor James "Scotty" Doohan in 1920; musician Doc Watson in 1923 (age 89); Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in 1933 (age 79); fashion designer Perry Ellis in 1940; actors Miranda Richardson in 1958 (age 54); radio show host Ira Glass in 1959 (age 53); former football star Herschel Walker, 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, and Olympic gold medal heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, both in 1962 (age 50); and actors Julie Bowen in 1970 (age 42), David Faustino in 1974 (age 38) and Jessica Biel in 1982 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1845, Florida was admitted to the United States as the 27th state.

In 1875, "Carmen" by Georges Bizet premiered in Paris.

In 1879, attorney Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1923, Time magazine published its first issue.

In 1931, an act of the U.S. Congress designated "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem of the United States.

In 1974, a Turkish jetliner crashed near Paris, killing 345 people.

In 1985, British coal miners ended a yearlong strike, the longest and costliest labor dispute in British history.

In 1986, the President's Commission on Organized Crime, ending a 32-month investigation, called for drug testing of most working Americans, including all federal employees.

In 1991, home video captured three Los Angeles police officers beating motorist Rodney King.

Also in 1991, residents of the Soviet republics of Latvia and Estonia voted overwhelmingly for independence.

In 1993, Dr. Albert Sabin, the medical pioneer who helped conquer polio, died at his home of heart failure at age 86.

In 1996, a bus bombing in Jerusalem killed 19 people.

In 1997, U.S. Vice President Al Gore admitted he made fundraising calls from the White House but said he'd been advised there was no law against it.


Also in 1997, former CIA official Harold Nicholson pleaded guilty to spying for Russia. He was sentenced to 23 years and seven months in prison.

In 1999, an estimated 70 million people tuned in to watch former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's taped TV interview with Barbara Walters.

In 2004, former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers pleaded innocent to an indictment on federal fraud and conspiracy charges. The company's 2002 bankruptcy was the largest in U.S. history.

In 2005, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached 1,500.

Also in 2005, North Korea announced it was dropping its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing, in place since 1999.

In 2006, former U.S. Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif., was sentenced to eight years in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors for help in landing lucrative government contracts.

In 2007, cleanup operations were under way in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, where tornadoes killed 20 people, destroyed a hospital and a school and left hundreds homeless.

In 2008, the U.N. Security Council adopted a third round of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. The resolution authorized cargo inspections in and out of Iran suspected of carrying prohibited equipment and tightens monitoring of Iranian financial institutions.


In 2009, gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan. Six Pakistani police officers were slain and seven cricketeers were wounded.

Also in 2009, Mexico officials said 1,000 more police personnel would be sent to crime-riddled Ciudad Juarez along with a military buildup to bring the number of troops to around 7,000 to join in the violent drug wars.

In 2010, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee amid growing concerns over alleged ethics violations. In another ethics probe, N.Y. Gov. David Paterson was suspected of accepting improper gifts.

Also in 2010, same-sex marriages became legal in Washington.

In 2011, The U.S. Army brought 22 more charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, a prime suspect in the WikiLeaks case involving alleged downloading of secret information from computers in Iraq. One of the new charges accused Manning of aiding the enemy, punishable by death.

Also in 2011, Sirhan B. Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, was denied parole by a California panel that said he had not shown an understanding of the "magnitude" of his crime.


A thought for the day: Edmund Waller wrote, "Poets that lasting marble seek / Must come in Latin or in Greek."

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