The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 12, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 12, the 72nd day of 2012 with 294 to follow.

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 pioneer automaker Clement Studebaker in 1831; New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs in 1858; artist Elaine de Kooning in 1918; actor/singer Gordon MacRae in 1921; novelist Jack Kerouac in 1922; astronaut Wally Schirra in 1923; playwright Edward Albee in 1928 (age 84); actor Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas in 1931; former U.N. Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young in 1932 (age 80); actor Barbara Feldon in 1933 (age 79); Hall of Fame basketball coach Eddie Sutton in 1936 (age 76); singer/songwriter Al Jarreau in 1940 (age 72); singer/actor Liza Minnelli in 1946 (age 66); former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 1947 (age 65); singer/songwriter James Taylor in 1948 (age 64); Jackson 5 member Marlon Jackson in 1957 (age 55); former baseball player Darryl Strawberry in 1962 (age 50); actor Aaron Eckhart in 1968 (age 44); and musician Pete Doherty in 1979 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scouts of America troop in Savannah, Ga.

In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began a campaign of civil disobedience against British rule in India.

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the first of his Sunday evening "fireside chats" -- informal radio addresses from the White House to the American people.

In 1938, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Austria.

In 1947, in a speech to Congress, U.S. President Harry Truman outlined what became known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for U.S. aid to countries threatened by communist revolution.

In 1963, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to grant former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill honorary U.S. citizenship.

In 1990, Exxon pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay a $100 million fine in a $1.1 billion settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Also in 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk introduced legislation to revise land tenure laws and end racial discrimination in land ownership.

In 1993, more than 250 people were killed when a wave of bombings rocked Mumbai.

In 1994, the Church of England ordained its first women priests.

In 1999, former Soviet allies the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II apologized for the errors of the Roman Catholic Church during the past 2,000 years.

In 2001, six people, including five Americans, were killed when an errant bomb from a U.S. Navy fighter jet exploded at an observation post in Kuwait.

In 2002, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking after Israeli raids killed 31 Palestinians, declared that Israel must end its "illegal occupation" of Palestinian land. That night, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

In 2003, Elizabeth Smart, 15, who had been kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home on June 2002, was found in the custody of a panhandler and his wife in nearby Sandy, Utah.

Also in 2003, the premier of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic, died after being shot by assassins.

In 2005, Iran rejected Washington's willingness to offer economic incentives if the Islamic state gives up its nuclear program.

In 2006, Iraqi violence claimed at least 70 lives, including nearly 50 who died in six car bombings in Baghdad's major Shiite stronghold. Hundreds were wounded.

In 2008, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned after being caught up in a high-priced prostitution scandal. He was succeeded by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, New York's first African-American (and legally blind) governor.

In 2009, a 17-year-old youth, who felt "no one recognized my potential," killed 17 people at his former school in Winnenden, Germany, including nine students. The alleged shooter died in a police gun battle.

In 2010, two suicide attacks against the Pakistani military in Lahore killed 45 people and wounded 100 others.

In 2011, a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland was effectively killed for the year after an emotional debate in the House of Delegates. A similar measure was passed and signed into law less than a year later.

And, in sports, efforts to settle a long-standing labor dispute between National Football League owners and players covering a multitude of major issues bogged down in a lockout of players from team facilities and a pause in league operations. With the 2011 season in jeopardy, a new collective bargaining agreement was reached after more than 18 weeks of negotiations and the NFL played as scheduled.

A thought for the day: Andrew Young told Playboy magazine, "Once the Xerox copier was invented, diplomacy died."

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