The almanac

By United Press International  |  April 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, April 26, the 117th day of 2012 with 249 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include Scottish philosopher David Hume in 1711; naturalist John James Audubon in 1785; German industrialist Alfred Krupp in 1812; landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1822; author Anita Loos in 1893; Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, in 1894; inventor Charles Richter, responsible for the Richter scale of earthquake measurement, and baseball Hall of Fame member Hack Wilson, both in 1900; writers A.E. van Vogt in 1912 and Bernard Malamud in 1914; architect I.M. Pei in 1917 (age 95); actor/comedian Carol Burnett in 1933 (age 79); influential pop guitarist Duane Eddy in 1938 (age 74); pop singer Bobby Rydell in 1942 (age 70); and actors Giancarlo Esposito in 1958 (age 54) Joan Chen in 1961 (age 51); and Kevin James in 1965 (age 47).

On this day in history:

In 1607, the first British colonists to establish a permanent settlement in America landed at Cape Henry, Va.

In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, German-made planes destroyed the Basque town of Guernica, Spain.

In 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged, forming the country of Tanzania.

In 1986, a fire at the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear reactor north of Kiev resulted in the world's worst nuclear disaster.

In 1993, gunmen seized the Costa Rica Supreme Court, holding 17 judges and five other people hostage. The assailants freed their hostages three days later and were captured en route to the airport.

In 1994, South Africans began going to the polls in the country's first election that was open to all. Four days of voting would elect Nelson Mandela president.

In 2002, a German youth who had been expelled from the Gutenberg school in Erfurt, Germany, returned to the school and shot 16 people to death.

In 2005, the last of the Syrian troops left Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence.

In 2006, solemn commemorative events in Ukraine and Russia marked the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The United Nations said about 9,000 people died from the accident but environmental groups claim the real toll is at least 10 times higher.

In 2007, New Hampshire lawmakers approved a measure legalizing civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.

In 2008, officials in Morocco said at least 55 people were killed and 12 injured in a fire that swept through a Casablanca mattress factory.

Also in 2008, a gun battle in the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, left as many as 15 members of rival drug gangs dead and eight wounded.

In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico oil slick created by a deadly drilling rig blast covered 1,800 square miles in less than one week as officials sought to cap a leak estimated at 42,000 gallons a day.

Also in 2010, Sudan President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, sought by the International Criminal Court in connection with reputed crimes against humanity in the Darfur section of western Sudan, was re-elected in a controversial vote.

In 2011, the U.S. State Department urged American citizens in Syria to leave the violence-plagued country immediately and ordered eligible family members of federal employees and some non-emergency personnel to leave.

Also in 2011, Mexican authorities announced the discovery of mass graves containing nearly 300 bodies. The dead were believed to be victims of drug wars that had claimed close to 35,000 lives since 2006.

A thought for the day: "The best proof of love is trust." Joyce Brothers said that.

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