The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, March 11, the 71st day of 2012 with 295 to follow.

Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States.


The moon is waning. 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 silent movie star Dorothy Gish in 1898; bandleader Lawrence Welk in 1903; former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1916; civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy in 1926; media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1931 (age 81); television newsman Sam Donaldson in 1934 (age 78); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 1936 (age 76); musician Bobby McFerrin and filmmaker Jerry Zucker ("Airplane!," the "Naked Gun" movies), both in 1950 (age 62); author Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") in 1952; singer Lisa Loeb in 1968 (age 44), and actors Alex Kingston in 1963 (age 49) and Thora Birch in 1982 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1824, the U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In 1845, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, died in Allen County, Ind.

In 1851, "Rigoletto" by Giuseppe Verdi preformed for the first time.

In 1861, In Montgomery, Ala., delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas adopted the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

In 1888, more than 200 people died as a four-day snowstorm crippled New York City.

In 1918, the first cases of "Spanish" influenza were reported in the United States. By 1920, the virus had killed as many as 22 million people worldwide, 500,000 in the United States.

In 1930, William Howard Taft became the first former U.S. president to be buried in the national cemetery at Arlington, Va.

In 1941, the Lend Lease Bill to help Britain survive attacks by Germany was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1942, after struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur abandoned the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, leaving behind 90,000 U.S. and Filipino troops.


In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, 54, succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the Lithuanian Parliament declared the Baltic republic free of the Soviet Union and called for negotiations to make secession a reality.

Also in 1990, Gen. Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president of Chile, making way for an elected civilian leader for first time since a 1973 coup.

In 1993, Janet Reno won unanimous U.S. Senate approval to become the first female U.S. attorney general.

In 2001, one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history began with a 436.37-point -- 4.1 percent -- decline in the Dow Jones industrial average. By week's end, all major indexes were down 6 percent.

In 2004, 10 bombs exploded almost simultaneously on four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people and injuring 1,400.

In 2006, Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Yugoslavia on trial for war crimes, was found dead in his cell at The Hague, an apparent heart attack victim.

Also in 2006, more than 100,000 immigrants and supporters rallied in Chicago in opposition to a federal bill that would put a fence at Mexico's border.


And, in France, proposed labor reform legislation sparked student riots across the nation.

In 2007, French President Jacques Chirac announced his retirement after more than 40 years in politics.

In 2008, the Federal Reserve outlined a $200 billion program that lets the biggest U.S. banks borrow Treasury securities at discount rates in an effort to avert a financial crisis.

In 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that France, a founding member of NATO, would rejoin the alliance's military command structure after half a century.

In 2010, around 10,000 rescue and cleanup workers at New York's Ground Zero after the 2001 terrorist attacks reached a health claim settlement with the city worth approximately $657.5 million.

In 2011, Japan was hit by the strongest earthquake in its modern history, magnitude-9 temblor that struck about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo, then triggered a thunderous tsunami that swept away homes, vehicles, ships and people in the nation's north. The death toll confirmed by the Japanese government was placed at 15,800 with close to 4,000 missing. Less than hour after the quake, a massive wall of water crashed into a nuclear plant causing a reactor cooling failure and radiation levels 1,000 times their normal levels, creating yet another emergency.


Also in 2011, Bahrain's ministry of interior said tear gas was used to disperse clashing demonstrators, denying reports that authorities used live ammunition against the protesters. Yemeni soldiers fired on demonstrators in Sanaa killing one person.

A thought for the day: U.S. President William Howard Taft said, "The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts."

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