The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, March 4, the 64th day of 2012 with 302 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Portuguese Prince Henry, the Navigator, in 1394; composer Antonio Vivaldi in 1678; Polish-born American patriot Casimir Pulaski in 1747; legendary Notre Dame football Coach Knute Rockne in 1888; comedian Shemp Howard ("Three Stooges") in 1895; actor John Garfield in 1913; actor/singer Barbara McNair in 1934; English auto racing champion Jimmy Clark in 1936; actor Paula Prentiss in 1938 (age 74); Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 1950 (age 62); actor Kay Lenz and musician/actor,producer Emilio Estefan, both in 1953 (age 59); and actors Catherine O'Hara in 1954 (age 58), Patricia Heaton in 1958 (age 54) and Steven Weber in 1961 (age 51); Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini in 1965 (age 47); television personality and activist Chaz Bono in 1969 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1681, to satisfy a debt, England's King Charles II granted a royal charter, deed and governorship of Pennsylvania to William Penn.

In 1789, the U.S. Congress met for the first time, in New York City.

In 1791, Vermont was admitted to the United States as the 14th state.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington.

In 1837, the city of Chicago was incorporated.

In 1877, "Swan Lake," a ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

In 1917, Jeanette Rankin, a Montana Republican, was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives. She was the first woman to serve in Congress.

In 1933, Frances Perkins was sworn in as Labor Secretary, first female member of a U.S. Cabinet.

In 1958, the U.S. atomic submarine Nautilus reached the North Pole by passing beneath the arctic ice cap.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan acknowledged his administration swapped arms to Iran for U.S. hostages and said, "It was a mistake."

In 1994, four men were found guilty in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.


In 1999, a U.S. Marine pilot whose plane had snapped a ski-lift cable high in Italy, killing 20 people, was acquitted of charges of involuntary homicide and manslaughter.

In 2002, after more than 40 people died violently in a week, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he aimed to kill as many Palestinians as possible to force negotiation.

In 2003, Philippine authorities blamed two bombings on the island of Mindanao on Islamic separatists. Twenty-two people, including a U.S. missionary, were killed and 150 injured in one blast and one died and three were hurt in the other.

In 2004, as U.S. Marines mobilized and patrolled the streets of Port-au-Prince, rebel forces proclaiming themselves Haiti's reinvented military after the president fled said they would lay down their weapons.

In 2005, homemaking guru Martha Stewart returned home after serving five months in a federal prison for conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding and making false statements to federal investigators and began five months of home confinement.

In 2007, Sunni insurgents killed and wounded hundreds of Shiite Muslim pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala in Iraq. At least 77 died at Hilla in the worst of the four-day series of attacks.


In 2008, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., clinched the Republican nomination for U.S. president with primary wins in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois remained a slim front-runner over Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York in the tight Democratic contest.

In 2009, the international criminal court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir at The Hague, Netherlands, for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of Western Sudan. It was the first ICC warrant against a sitting president.

In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $15 billion jobs bill that includes a Social Security tax break for companies hiring new employees.

Also in 2010, more than 100 aftershocks menaced earthquake-ravaged Chile one week after a near record 8.8-magnitude tremor struck off the central coast. However, aid was reported reaching the hardest hit areas. The official death toll topped 800 before being scaled back.

In 2011, as Libya plunged toward civil war, witnesses reported that Moammar Gadhafi's forces gunned down non-violent protesters in the city of Zawiya, 30 miles west of Tripoli. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, opened a Gadhafi war crimes investigation.


A thought for the day: Thomas Jefferson said, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

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