The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, April 13, the 104th day of 2012 with 262 to follow.

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 British anti-government conspirator Guy Fawkes in 1570; Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, in 1743; Frank Woolworth, founder of the five-and-dime stores, in 1852; outlaw Butch Cassidy in 1866; Alfred Butts, inventor of the game "Scrabble," in 1899; Irish playwright Samuel Beckett in 1906; Harold Stassen, former Minnesota governor who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination seven times, in 1907; author Eudora Welty in 1909; actor/singer Howard Keel and atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, both in 1919; actors Don Adams in 1923, Lyle Waggoner in 1935 (age 77), Paul Sorvino in 1939 (age 73) and Tony Dow (Wally on "Leave It To Beaver") in 1945 (age 67); composer Bill Conti in 1942 (age 70); singers Al Green in 1946 (age 66) and Peabo Bryson in 1951 (age 61); author and critic Christopher Hitchens in 1949; Max Weinberg, band leader and Bruce Springsteen drummer, in 1951 (age 61) and actors Ron Perlman in 1950 (age 62) and Rick Schroder in 1970 (age 42); chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1963 (age 49).


On this date in history:

In 1742, George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" made its world premiere.

In 1943, the Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth.

In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Oscar for best actor, honored for his work in "Lilies of the Field."

In 1970, an oxygen tank exploded aboard Apollo 13 while en route to a planned moon landing. The craft returned safety to Earth after some harrowing moments.

In 1972, the first major league baseball strike ended, eight days after it began.

In 1984, Christopher Wilder, the FBI's "most wanted man," accidentally killed himself as police moved in to arrest him in New Hampshire. Wilder was a suspect in the deaths, rapes and disappearances of 11 young women in eight states.

In 1987, the Population Reference Bureau reported that the world's population had exceeded 5 billion.

In 1990, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev gave Lithuania a two-day ultimatum, threatening to cut off some supplies to the Baltic republic if it didn't rescind laws passed since a March 11 declaration of independence.


In 1991, an advance team of U.N. observers arrived in Kuwait City to set up a peacekeeping force along the Kuwait-Iraqi border.

In 1992, construction workers breeched a retaining wall in the Chicago River, sending water flooding through a tunnel system connecting buildings in the downtown area.

In 1997, Tiger Woods, 21, won the Masters Tournament, the youngest golfer to accomplish that feat and first African-American to win any of the four major professional golf tournaments for men.

In 2004, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said in Beijing that the United States doesn't support independence for Taiwan.

In 2005, as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty, Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to four bombings that killed two people and injured more than 120. Among the attacks were bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and two abortion clinics. Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2007, U.S. regulators sought to determine whether a chemical was intentionally added in China to wheat gluten destined for pet food. Contaminated wheat gluten was in food reported linked to numerous deaths of dogs and cats in North America and prompted the recall of more than 90 brands of pet food.


In 2008, about 1,300 Iraqi police officers and soldiers were fired in Basra and Kut for failing to fight Shiite militias, the Iraqi government said. Some of those fired were said to have merely switched sides during the battle.

In 2009, music producer Phil Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder by a Los Angeles jury in his second trial for the 2003 slaying of Lana Clarkson, an actress and club hostess.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama told a nuclear security summit that the risk of nuclear faceoff among nations has fallen since the Cold War but the risk of nuclear attack has risen.

In 2011, Mexican officials announced they have a 12th suspect in recent kidnapping and massacre of passengers in buses traveling in Mexico.

A thought for the day: "We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." Ben Sweetland said that.

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