The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, April 30, the 121th day of 2012 with 245 days 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 German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1777; Hungarian composer Franz Lehar, who wrote the operetta "The Merry Widow," in 1870; actors Eve Arden in 1908 and Cloris Leachman in 1926 (age 86); singer Willie Nelson in 1933 (age 79); actors Gary Collins in 1938 (age 74), Burt Young in 1940 (age 72) and Jill Clayburgh in 1944; singer Bobby Vee in 1943 (age 69); Sweden's King Carl Gustaf XVI and U.S. Olympic champion swimmer Don Schollander, both in 1946 (age 66); actor Perry King in 1948 (age 64); film director Jane Campion ("The Piano") in 1954 (age 58); basketball Hall of Fame member Isiah Thomas in 1961 (age 51); actor Kirsten Dunst in 1982 (age 30); and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 1959 (age 53).


On this date in history:

In 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States.

In 1803, the United States more than doubled its land area with the Louisiana Purchase. It obtained all French territory west of the Mississippi River for $15 million.

In 1812, Louisiana entered the union as the 18th U.S. state.

In 1927, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford became the first to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to appear on television when he was shown on opening day at the New York World's Fair.

In 1945, the burned body of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was found in a bunker in the ruins of Berlin. Also that day, Soviet troops captured the Reichstag building in Berlin.

In 1948, 21 nations of the Western hemisphere formed the Organization of American States.

In 1967, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight boxing championship title when he refused to be drafted into the military.

In 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon announced he was sending U.S. troops into Cambodia to destroy the "sanctuaries" from which communist forces from North Vietnam were sending men and material into South Vietnam.


In 1975, South Vietnam unconditionally surrendered to North Vietnam. The communists occupied Saigon and renamed it Ho Chi Minh City.

In 1990, U.S. educator Frank Reed was freed after a 3 1/2-year ordeal as hostage of extremists in Lebanon, becoming the second abducted American freed in Beirut in just more than a week.

Also in 1991, political talks between Roman Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists in Northern Ireland opened. They were the first such discussions in 15 years.

In 1993, Monica Seles, the world's No. 1 women's tennis player, was stabbed in the back by a self-described fan of No. 2-ranked Steffi Graf during a match in Germany.

In 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the suspension of U.S. trade with Iran to protest funding of terrorism.

In 1998, a grand jury indicted Webster Hubbell and his wife on tax evasion charges, Hubbell, a close friend and associate of U.S. President Bill Clinton, accused Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr of having him indicted so he would lie about the president.

Also in 1998, the U.S. Senate approved the applications of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to join NATO.


In 2002, the United States sent 1,000 more troops to eastern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border to prevent Taliban and al-Qaida forces from regrouping.

In 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said his government wouldn't support the proposed "road map" peace plan until Palestinians stopped anti-Israel violence. But, he said he favored creation of a Palestinian state.

In 2005, the bodies of 113 people, nearly all women and children, were found in a mass grave in southern Iraq.

Also in 2005, Jennifer Wilbanks, a Georgia woman who attracted national attention when she vanished days before her wedding, turned up in New Mexico, claiming to have been abducted but later admitting she was a "runaway bride."

In 2006, Israel's Prime Minister-designate Ehud Olmert denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a psychopath in a newspaper interview and compared him to Adolf Hitler.

Also in 2006, two rebel factions in Sudan rejected a peace agreement in the Darfur conflict. Officials estimate the bloody fighting had killed at least 180,000 and driven more than 2 million from their homes.

In 2009, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection in a key move of a restructuring plan backed by the Obama administration. The U.S. automaker lost $16.8 billion in 2008.


In 2010, data indicated the U.S. economy had expanded 3.2 percent during the first quarter of 2010 with consumer spending growing at an annual rate of 3.6 percent. The report helped send the Dow Jones industrial average past the 11,000 mark for the first time since September 2008.

In 2011, a NATO airstrike in Tripoli killed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's youngest son and three of his grandchildren but Gadhafi and his wife escaped injury.

Also in 2011, the massive cleanup following a record outbreak of tornadoes in the southern United States got under way as the death toll rose to at least 340, with 249 killed in Alabama.

A thought for the day: an anonymous wag said, "Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into but hard to get out of."

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