The almanac

United Press International

Today is Tuesday, March 6, the 66th day of 2012 with 300 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 Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo in 1475; French dramatist Cyrano de Bergerac in 1619; English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1806; Union Army Gen. Philip Sheridan in 1831; humorist and short story writer Ring Lardner in 1885; baseball Hall of Fame member Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove in 1900; Texas swing bandleader Bob Wills in 1905; comic actor Lou Costello (Abbott and Costello) in 1906; one-armed professional baseball player Pete Gray in 1915; television personality Ed McMahon in 1923; symphony conductor Sarah Caldwell in 1924; former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan in 1926 (age 86); Mercury Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper in 1927; Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, also in 1927 (age 85); former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry in 1936 (age 76); baseball Hall of Fame member Willie Stargell in 1940; actor Ben Murphy in 1942 (age 70); singer Mary Wilson in 1944 (age 68); rock musician David Gilmour in 1946 (age 66); actor/director Rob Reiner, high jumper Dick Fosbury and news commentator John Stossel, all in 1947 (age 65); actor Tom Arnold in 1959 (age 53); and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal in 1972 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1820, The Missouri Compromise was enacted allowing Missouri to join the United States as a slave state but leaving the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

In 1836, Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio killing the last of 187 defenders who had held out in the fortified Texas mission for 13 days. Frontiersman Davy Crockett was among those killed on the final day.

In 1853, "La Traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi premiered in Venice, Italy.

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling that black slave Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom in a federal court, even though his white owner had died in a "free" state.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers flying from Britain began the first daytime attacks on Berlin.

In 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin's daughter, defected to the United States.

In 1981, Walter Cronkite signed off from the "CBS Evening News" for the final time after 19 years at the anchor's desk.

In 1982, an Egyptian court sentenced five Muslim fundamentalists to death for the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Seventeen others drew prison terms.


In 1987, an earthquake and flood in northeastern Ecuador killed more than 300 people and ruptured a main oil pipeline.

Also in 1987, the British car ferry The Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing at least 189 of some 540 people aboard.

In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared the Persian Gulf War over.

In 2000, a federal jury convicted three New York City police officers of covering up the 1997 assault on prisoner Abner Louima in a police station men's room.

In 2002, Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as special prosecutor, said there was sufficient evidence to convict U.S. President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinski case. But, he said Clinton had agreed to admit he gave false testimony under oath, thus avoiding prosecution.

In 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States could lead a coalition of nations that would disarm Iraq even without U.N. authority.

Also in 2003, the U.S. Senate approved a U.S.-Russian agreement whereby each country would reduce deployed nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012.

In 2006, officials said the 2005 hurricane season was the costliest disaster in U.S. history with Congress considering another $20 billion in relief. The federal government already had committed $88 billion to help areas devastated by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.


In 2007, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of lying to FBI agents and to a grand jury in the investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the media.

In 2008, in the deadliest attack on Israeli citizens in two years, a Palestinian gunman fired hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, killing eight students.

Also in 2008, at least 68 people died in a series of coordinated bombings in a mostly Shiite shopping district in Baghdad.

In 2009, U.S. unemployment hit 8.1 percent in February, the highest point since 1983. The figure represented the loss of 651,000 jobs.

Also in 2009, the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama planned to reverse former President George W. Bush's policy limiting federal funding for stem-cell research.

In 2010, several top Taliban leaders were killed when helicopter gunships targeted their hideouts, the Pakistani interior minister reported.

In 2011, the United States and Britain warned against travel to Yemen because of escalating violence. Warfare continued to rage on several fronts in Libya where Gadhafi forces' claims of having retaken key cities were refuted by rebels.


A thought for the day: Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote that, "A woman's always younger than a man of equal years."

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