The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 8, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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This is Sunday, April 8, the 99th day of 2012 with 267 to follow.

This is Easter.

The moon is waning. 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 Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1726; pioneer neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing in 1869; actor Mary Pickford in 1892; Olympic figure skater/actor Sonja Henie in 1912; former first lady Betty Ford in 1918; comedian Shecky Greene in 1926 (age 85); composer Jacques Brel in 1929; actor and former ambassador to Mexico John Gavin in 1931 (age 81); journalist Seymour Hersh in 1937 (age 75); former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1938 (age 74); basketball Hall of Fame member John Havlicek in 1940 (age 72); choreographer Michael Bennett of "A Chorus Line" fame in 1943; baseball Hall of Fame members Jim "Catfish" Hunter in 1946 and Gary Carter in 1954; rock musician Steve Howe in 1947 (age 65); novelist Barbara Kingsolver in 1955 (age 57); actor/singer John Schneider in 1960 (age 52); musician Julian Lennon in 1963 (age 49); actors Robin Wright in 1966 (age 46), Patricia Arquette in 1968 (age 44) and Taran Noah Smith in 1984 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 563 B.C., Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was believed to have lived in India from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C.

In 1913, 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Under it, direct election of U.S. senators became law.

In 1917, Austria-Hungary, an ally of Germany, severed diplomatic relations with the United States.

In 1935, the U.S. Congress approved the Works Progress Administration, a central part of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal."

In 1952, U.S. President Harry Truman ordered government seizure of the steel industry to avoid a general strike.

In 1960, the U.S. Senate passed the landmark Civil Rights Bill.

In 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's long-standing career record. Aaron played two more seasons, ending with 755 home runs.

In 1990, Ryan White, who put the face of a child on AIDS, died of complications from the ailment at age 18.

In 1992, former tennis great Arthur Ashe confirmed he had AIDS. He said he contracted the disease from a blood transfusion.

In 1993, Marian Anderson, the first African-American singer to appear at New York's Metropolitan Opera, died at age 91.

In 1994, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, 27, was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

In 1995, in his book "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wrote that he and other U.S. leaders had been "wrong, terribly wrong" about the war.

In 2004, U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the 9/11 Commission that a report about a possible plane hijacking received by the White House one month before terrorists struck New York and Washington contained mostly "historical information" and made no specific warning about a U.S. attack.

In 2005, some 250,000 mourners attended a three-hour funeral mass for Pope John Paul II in Rome's St. Peter's Square while about 1 million others gathered nearby. Among those in attendance were U.S. President George W. Bush and about 100 other world leaders.

Also in 2005, Eric Rudolph agreed to plead guilty to four bombings, including one at the 1966 Olympics in Atlanta, in order to escape the death penalty.

In 2008, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, depicted Iraqi progress as "fragile and reversible" and urged Congress to make no decisions on troop reduction until the fall.

In 2009,U.S. President Barack Obama concluded an eight-day trip abroad, meeting with world leaders from London to Baghdad, taking part in sessions involving the Group of 20, NATO, the European Union and others, going face-to-face with heads of Russia and China and seeking to build alliances on Afghanistan and other issues.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an arms reduction pact that would cut significantly the world's largest nuclear arsenals.

In 2011, with less than two hours to spare, U.S. President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders finally reached agreement on a federal budget, narrowly averting a government shutdown.

A thought for the day: there's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."

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