The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, April 28, the 119th day of 2012 with 247 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 James Monroe, fifth president of the United States, in 1758; Dutch legal scholar and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tobias Michael Carel Asser in 1838; actor Lionel Barrymore in 1878; German industrialist Oskar Schindler, credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the World War II Holocaust, in 1908; novelists Harper Lee ("To Kill a Mockingbird") in 1926 (age 86) and Terry Pratchett in 1948 (age 64); former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in 1930 (age 82); Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1937; actors Carolyn Jones in 1930, Madge Sinclair in 1938, Ann-Margret in 1941 (age 71), Marcia Strassman in 1948 (age 64), Bruno Kirby in 1949, Penelope Cruz in 1974 (age 38) and Jessica Alba in 1981 (age 31); golfer John Daly in 1966 (age 46); and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno in 1950 (age 62).


On this date in history:

In 1788, Maryland ratified the U.S. Constitution, becoming the seventh state of the Union.

In 1789, the most famous of all naval mutinies took place aboard the HMS Bounty en route from Tahiti to Jamaica.

In 1930, first night game in organized baseball history is played in Independence, Kan.

In 1945, fascist leader Benito Mussolini, his mistress and several of his friends were executed by Italian partisans.

In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and five crew members began trip from Peru to Polynesia on the Kon-Tiki.

In 1975, the last U.S. civilians were evacuated from South Vietnam as North Vietnamese forces tightened their noose around Saigon.

In 1986, the Soviet Union announced the Chernobyl nuclear reactor fire had killed two people, with 197 hospitalized. Nine months later, it reported 31 had died and 231 suffered radiation sickness.

In 1988, an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 lost an 18-foot chunk of fuselage at 24,000 feet between Hilo and Honolulu, Hawaii, killing a flight attendant. The pilot landed on Maui with the remaining 94 passengers and crew, 61 of them injured.

In 1993, U.S. Defense Secretary Les Aspin opened combat aircraft to military service women and sought a change in the law to allow women to serve on naval combat vessels.


In 1994, former CIA officer Aldrich Ames pleaded guilty to spying for the Soviet Union.

In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton testified via videotape as a defense witness in the Whitewater land trial.

Also in 1996, a rampage by a gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia, killed 35 people.

In 2001, California businessman Dennis Tito became the first tourist in space. He reportedly paid Russia's space agency $20 million to give him a ride to the International Space Station.

In 2004, about 100 people were killed when armed insurgents stormed police stations in southern Thailand.

In 2005, a Shiite-led Cabinet was approved by Iraq's National Assembly for its first freely elected government.

In 2007, U.S. inspectors reported significant problems with reconstruction projects in Iraq, including plumbing and electric failures and apparent looting.

Also in 2007, Pakistan's interior minister was injured slightly in a suicide bombing that killed at least 28 people and injured dozens more in the northwest city of Charsadda.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring state or federal photo identification in order to vote.

In 2009, three Albanian immigrant brothers were sentenced in Camden, N.J., to life in prison for their part in a plot to attack soldiers at Fort Dix.


In 2010, a man identified as a teacher from a nearby Chinese village attacked 16 children and another teacher with a knife at a primary school in south China's Guangdong Province.

Also in 2010, the U.S. government approved the building of the nation's first wind farm, off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., designed to produce "clean," renewable energy.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would nominate CIA Director Leon Panetta to succeed the retiring Robert Gates as defense secretary.

Also in 2011, oil giant Exxon Mobil reported first-quarter 2011 profits of $10.7 billion, a 69 percent increase over the same period in 2010.

A thought for the day: H. Jackson Brown Jr., said "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking."

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