The almanac

United Press International

Today is Thursday, March 8, the 68th day of 2012 with 298 to follow.

The moon is full. 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 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in 1841; Scottish writer Kenneth Grahame, author of "The Wind in the Willows," in 1859; American printer and type designer Frederic William Goudy in 1865; German nuclear chemist Otto Hahn, discoverer of nuclear fission, in 1879; actor/dancer Cyd Charisse in 1922; actors Louise Beavers in 1902, Claire Trevor in 1910, Alan Hale, Jr. in 1921, Susan Clark in 1940 (age 72) and Lynn Redgrave in 1943; former Monkee Micky Dolenz in 1945 (age 67); songwriter Carole Bayer Sager in 1947 (age 65); baseball Hall of Fame member Jim Rice in 1953 (age 59); actors Aidan Quinn in 1959 (age 53), Camryn Manheim in 1961 (age 51), Freddie Prinze Jr. in 1976 (age 36) and James Van Der Beek in 1977 (age 35).


On this date in history:

In 1817, the New York Stock Exchange was established.

In 1913, the Internal Revenue Service began to levy and collect income taxes in the United States.

In 1917, strikes and riots in St. Petersburg marked the start of the Russian Bolshevik revolution.

In 1921, after Germany failed to make its first war reparation payment, French troops occupied Dusseldorf and other towns on the Ruhr River in Germany's industrial heartland.

In 1957, Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international traffic after Israel withdrew from occupied Egyptian territory.

In 1965, nearly 4,000 U.S. Marines landed in South Vietnam.

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union an "evil empire" in a speech before the British House of Commons.

In 1990, Colombia's M-19 leftist guerrilla group surrendered its arms, ending 16 years of insurrection.

In 1992, Menachem Begin, the stern, hunted Israeli underground leader who won win the Nobel Peace Prize as prime minister for making peace with Egypt, died of heart failure.

In 1999, baseball great Joe DiMaggio died at age 84.

In 2003, Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a car in the Gaza Strip, killing a top Hamas leader and three bodyguards.


In 2004, writer and actor Spalding Gray, missing for almost two months, was found in New York's East River, a suspected suicide.

Also in 2004, as revenge killings continued in Haiti, Boniface Alexandre, the Supreme Court chief justice, was named interim president.

In 2006, an official of the World Health Organization expressed strong concern that bird flu spreading to humans could cause a massive pandemic.

Also in 2006, three Alabama college students reportedly looking for cheap thrills were arrested on charges they set fire to nine rural Baptist churches.

In 2007, the British House of Commons approved a measure requiring the House of Lords to be elected by the people rather than appointed.

In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush vetoed legislation that would have outlawed severe interrogation methods such as waterboarding used by the CIA. Bush said the proposal would eliminate "one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror."

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States may try reconciliation with Taliban moderates in an effort to turn around the Afghan war.

Also in 2009, a man on a motorcycle drove into a crowd of Baghdad police recruits and detonated an explosive vest, killing 28 people and wounding almost 60 others.


In 2010, as many as 500 people were reported killed in a nighttime "ethnic cleansing" raid on a village near Nigeria's turbulent city of Jos.

In 2011, as fighting in Libya between insurgents and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi continued and casualties escalated, rebel leaders gave Gadhafi 72 hours to resign or be hunted as a criminal.

A thought for the day: Spencer Johnson said, "Happiness is not having what you want; it's wanting what you have."

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