The almanac

United Press International

Today is Tuesday, March 27, the 87th day of 2012 with 279 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 are under the sign of Aries. They include printmaker Nathaniel Currier, of Currier and Ives, in 1813; German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays, in 1845; schoolteacher Patty Smith Hill, who wrote the words for "Happy Birthday to You," in 1868; photographer Edward Steichen in 1879; architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1886; actor Gloria Swanson in 1899; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eisaku Sato in 1901; jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1924; race car driver Cale Yarborough in 1939 (age 73); actors Michael York in 1942 (age 70) and Maria Schneider in 1952; filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in 1963 (age 49); and singers Mariah Carey in 1970 (age 42) and Fergie -- Stacy Ann Ferguson -- in 1975 (age 37).

On this date in history:


In 1886, Apache leader Geronimo surrendered to U.S. federal authorities.

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev replaced Nikolai Bulganin as premier of the Soviet Union.

In 1964, the strongest earthquake to hit North America -- magnitude 9.2 -- struck Alaska, killing 117 people.

In 1977, two Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided and exploded in flames on a foggy runway in the Canary Islands, killing 577 people in the worst aviation disaster in history.

In 1980, a Norwegian oil platform capsized during a storm in the North Sea, killing 123 people.

In 1990, Soviet soldiers dragged Lithuanian army deserters from a hospital in Vilnius and took over the headquarters of Lithuania's independent Communist Party to reassert Moscow's control over the dissident Baltic republic.

In 1993, Jiang Zemin was appointed president of the People's Republic of China.

In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Yigal Amir of assassinating Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and sentenced him to life in prison.

In 1998, U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

In 2002, a suicide bomber killed 19 Israelis attending a Passover meal at a hotel in Netanya. More than 100 others were injured.


In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush, seeking to calm concerns that the war in Iraq is proving tougher than expected after its first week, said the United States and Britain will battle Saddam Hussein's forces "however long it takes to win."

Also in 2003, health officials said 1,408 people in 14 countries had been stricken with severe acute respiratory syndrome and 53 had died, including at least 34 in China.

In 2004, NASA's unmanned experimental hypersonic plane reached about 5,000 mph in a test flight -- more than seven times the speed of sound.

In 2005, ailing Pope John Paul II appeared at his apartment window before an Easter crowd in St. Peter's Square but was unable to speak. He silently blessed thousands of pilgrims who wept and cheered.

Also in 2005, about 1 million chanting demonstrators converged on Taiwan's capital to protest China's Anti-Secession Law.

In 2006, a suicide bomber outside a police recruiting center in northern Iraq killed at least 30 people and wounded 30 others.

In 2007, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brokered a deal between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet twice a week to address security issues.


Also in 2007, leaders of Myanmar staged a military parade to show off their new capital city, Naypyitaw.

In 2008, violence raged around Baghdad and in southern Iraq where clashes between Iraqi security forces and rebel militia members killed at least 100 people.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a newly focused U.S. strategy "to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan" aided by more troops and billions more in aid. The February military death toll in Iraq meanwhile was nine, lowest monthly total since the war began.

Also in 2009, at least 50 people were killed in a suicide bombing in a crowded mosque in Jamrud in the Khyber region of northwestern Pakistan.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a major new nuclear arms treaty with Russia calling for a reduction in the countries' nuclear weapons arsenals with regular inspections.

In 2011, Jesuits in the U.S. Northwest were expected to pay $166 million to hundreds of people sexually abused at their boarding schools, by far the largest sum agreed to by a Roman Catholic religious order.

Also in 2011, an estimated half-million protesters marched in London against the British government's budget cuts.


A thought for the day: Gloria Swanson said: "Fame was thrilling only until it became grueling. Money was fun only until you ran out of things to buy."

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