The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 26, the 86th day of 2012 with 280 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Uranus and Saturn. The evening stars are Mars, Jupiter and Venus.

Those born on this date in history are under the sign of Aries. They include poet Robert Frost in 1874; mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell in 1904; playwright Tennessee Williams in 1911; U.S. Army Gen. William Westmoreland in 1914; French composer/conductor Pierre Boulez in 1925 (age 87); former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 1930 (age 82); actors Leonard Nimoy in 1931 (age 81), Alan Arkin in 1934 (age 78) and James Caan in 1940 (age 72); author Erica Jong in 1942 (age 70); author/journalist Bob Woodward in 1943 (age 69); singers Diana Ross in 1944 (age 68) and Teddy Pendergrass in 1950; actors Vicki Lawrence in 1949 (age 63), Martin Short in 1950 (age 62), Jennifer Grey in 1960 (age 52) and Keira Knightley in 1985 (age 27); TV personality Leeza Gibbons in 1957 (age 55); rock singer Steven Tyler in 1948 (age 64); country singer Kenny Chesney in 1968 (age 44); and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in 1940 (age 72).

On this day in history:

In 1830, the Book of Mormon was published.

In 1839, first Henley Royal Regatta was contested.

In 1953, U.S. medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announced on a national radio show that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio.

In 1971, East Pakistan achieved independence as Bangladesh.

In 1975, the city of Hue in South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese army.

In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty at the White House, ending 30 years of hostilities.

In 1991, Mali's dictator was overthrown in violent overnight military coup. Fifty-nine people died.

Also in 1991, the Pakistani hijackers of a Singapore Airlines jet were killed by government commandos in Singapore. The passengers and crew members were safe.

In 1992, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for raping a teenage beauty pageant contestant.

Also in 1992, Soviet cosmonaut Serge Krikalev, after spending 313 days in orbit aboard the Mir space station, returned to Earth a citizen of a new country, Russia. While he was in space, the Soviet Union had crumbled.

In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate religious cult were found dead in a large house in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in an apparent mass suicide.

In 1998, Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit South Africa.

In 1999, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the euthanasia advocate, was convicted of second-degree murder in an Oakland County, Mich., courtroom for the videotaped "medicide" of a man suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

In 2000, acting Russian President Vladimir Putin was elected president by a more than 20 percent margin.

In 2005, the family of Terri Schiavo said no more federal appeals on behalf of the brain-damaged Florida woman were planned after a judge rejected an emergency plea to have her feeding tube reinserted.

In 2006, reports say discovery of the bodies of 30 beheaded men in Iraq suggested death squads were out of control.

Also, in 2006, Ukraine's opposition Regions Party won the parliamentary elections, with former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich returning to his post under President Viktor Yushchenko.

And, Scotland banned smoking in all public places. A BBC poll found about 21 percent of adults surveyed said they would ignore the law.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush met with chairmen of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to discuss alternative fuels. Bush wanted gasoline consumption reduced by 20 percent over the next decade.

Also in 2007, rival leaders of Northern Ireland met for the first time to work out a power-sharing government.

In 2010, officials in South China said a drought had become so severe that wells dried up, leaving 18 million people without drinking water.

Also in 2010, reports from Port-au-Prince said the 1.3 million Haitians left homeless by an earthquake two months earlier faced the additional problem of torrential rains flooding their makeshift housing.

In 2011, in the smoldering wake of allied airstrikes, Libyan rebels recaptured the eastern oil town of Ajdabiya.

Also in 2011, Japanese nuclear experts said radioactive matter was found at a concentration 1,250 times the legal limit near the drains of the four reactors battered by an earthquake and tsunami, but that the sea would "significantly dilute" it.

And, former U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York, first woman on a major American presidential ticket when she was Walter Mondale's Democratic running mate in 1984, died of multiple myeloma. She was 75.

A thought for the day: "There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have." Don Herold said that.

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