The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Tuesday, March 13, the 73rd day of 2012 with 293 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 English chemist Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, in 1733; astronomer Percival Lowell in 1855; baseball Hall of Fame member John "Home Run" Baker in 1886; publisher Walter Annenberg in 1908; bandleader Sammy Kaye in 1910; L. Ron Hubbard, science fiction writer and founder of the Church of Scientology, in 1911; former CIA Director William Casey in 1913; cartoonist Al Jaffee in 1921 (age 91); Helen "Callaghan" Candaele Saint Aubin, known as the "Ted Williams of women's baseball," in 1929; singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka in 1939 (age 73); political commentator Charles Krauthammer in 1950 (age 62); actors William H. Macy in 1950 (age 62), Dana Delany in 1956 (age 56) and Emile Hirsch in 1985 (age 27); and U2 bass player Adam Clayton in 1960 (age 52).


On this date in history:

In 1639, Harvard College in Massachusetts was named for John Harvard, a founder and major benefactor of the school.

In 1781, the planet Uranus was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel.

In 1868, the Republican-dominated U.S. Senate began impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat and successor to Abraham Lincoln, climaxing a political feud following the Civil War. He was acquitted by one vote.

In 1881, Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, was killed in a St. Petersburg street by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary "People's Will" group.

In 1887, Chester Greenwood of Maine received a patent for earmuffs.

In 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, banks throughout the United States began to reopen after a weeklong bank holiday declared by President Franklin Roosevelt in a successful effort to stop runs on bank assets.

In 1943, a plot by German officers to kill Hitler by blowing up his plane failed.

In 1974, the oil-producing Arab countries agreed to lift their five-month embargo on petroleum sales to the United States. The embargo, during which gasoline prices soared 300 percent, was in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel during the October 1973 Middle East War.


In 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration quarantined fruit imported from Chile after traces of cyanide were found in two Chilean grapes.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies formally ended the Communist Party's monopoly rule, establishing a presidential system and giving Mikhail Gorbachev broad new powers.

In 1992, more than 400 people were killed when a powerful earthquake hit northeastern Turkey.

In 1996, a gun collector opened fire on a kindergarten class in Dunblane, Scotland, killing 16 children, their teacher and himself.

Also in 1996, Liggett, the fifth-biggest tobacco company, broke ranks with its rivals and settled a class-action cancer lawsuit.

And in 1996, world leaders -- including U.S. President Bill Clinton, Russia's Boris Yeltsin, King Hussein of Jordan and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat -- met in Cairo to reaffirm the Middle East peace process.

In 1997, a Jordanian soldier killed seven Israeli schoolgirls at the Israeli-Jordanian border.

In 2000, the Tribune Co. and the Times Mirror Co., media giants featuring two of the nation's oldest and largest newspapers (Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times), announced they would merge.

In 2004, Iran called an indefinite halt to inspections of its nuclear facilities.


Also in 2004, the California Supreme Court ordered an end to same-sex marriages in San Francisco.

In 2005, the Pentagon was reported questioning more than $100 million in expenditures Halliburton Co. charged the U.S. government for fuel delivery in Iraq.

In 2007, Mexican President Felipe Calderon expressed opposition to the U.S-Mexican border fence the United States was building in an effort to control illegal immigration.

In 2008, in an effort to ease the U.S. credit crisis, the White House announced a plan to require states to tighten rules for mortgage brokers and calls on lenders to make full disclosure of payment terms to buyers.

Also in 2008, the body of Iraqi Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who led Mosul's Chaldean Catholic Church, was found in Mosul. He had been kidnapped in February.

And, gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.

In 2009, admitted Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff, accused of defrauding thousands of clients of billions of dollars in a massive Ponzi scheme over 20 years, pleaded guilty to 11 counts that lawyers say could net him a 150-year prison sentence.

In 2010, a string of explosions triggered by a reported four suicide bombers struck Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 people and wounding another 45, all said to be civilians.


In 2011, Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops were invited into Bahrain to shore up the beleaguered regime under fire by protesters seeking government reform.

Also in 2011, the Dalai Lama, 75-year-old spiritual leader of Tibet, announced his resignation from his second job, as his people's official political leader, a post he had held since he was 18.

A thought for the day: William Casey was quoted as saying, "I pass the test that says a man who isn't a socialist at 20 has no heart and a man who is a socialist at 40 has no head."

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