The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 2, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, May 2, the 123rd day of 2012 with 243 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 Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, in 1729; Gen. Henry Robert, author of "Robert's Rules of Order," in 1837; pioneer Zionist Theodor Herzl in 1860; gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in 1885; baseball Hall of Fame member Eddie Collins in 1887; German fighter ace Manfred "The Red Baron" von Richthofen in 1892; Broadway composer Lorenz Hart in 1895; child-care specialist Dr. Benjamin Spock in 1903; comic Pinky Lee in 1907; singer/actor Theodore Bikel in 1924 (age 88); singer Engelbert Humperdinck, born Arnold Dorsey, in 1936 (age 76); activist/singer Bianca Jagger in 1945 (age 67); pop singer Leslie Gore in 1946 (age 66); country singer Larry Gatlin in 1948 (age 64); actors David suchet in 1946 (age 66) and Christine Baranski in 1952 (age 60); fashion designer Donatella Versace in 1955 (age 57); former professional wrestler and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in 1972 (age 40); and soccer star David Beckham in 1975 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1519, Leonardo da Vinci, Italian artist, scientist and inventor, died at age 67.

In 1611, a new translation of the Bible in England, popularly called the King James Bible after King James I, was published.

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own soldiers. He died eight days later.

In 1885, Good Housekeeping magazine published its first issue.

In 1941, the Federal Communications Commission approved the regular scheduling of commercial television broadcasts.

In 1933, the modern legend of the Loch Ness monster surfaced when a reported sighting made the news. There had been accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland's Loch Ness dating back 1,500 years.

In 1972, 91 people were killed in a mine fire in Kellogg, Idaho.

Also in 1972, J. Edgar Hoover died after nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the South African elections in late April. He was inaugurated as the country's first black president eight days later.

In 1995, the Clinton administration announced that Cuban boat people seeking asylum would be henceforth returned to Cuba.

In 1999, a meeting between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic led to the release of three U.S. soldiers captured a month earlier by Serbian troops.

In 2002, Israeli forces pulled out of the West Bank city of Ramallah allowing Yasser Arafat to leave his compound.

In 2004, Nigerian Christian militants attacked the Muslim town of Yelwa with firearms and machetes. The Nigerian Red Cross put the death toll at 630.

In 2005, U.S. Army Pvt. Lynndie England pleaded guilty to seven counts related to alleged mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In 2007, Afghan officials reported that 42 Afghan civilians had been killed in a U.S. military operation. President Hamid Karzai criticized U.S. and NATO forces for not being more careful in avoiding civilian casualties.

Also in 2007, Rupert Murdoch, chief executive officer of the News Corp., announced a $5 billion offer to take over Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

In 2008, Tropical Cyclone Nargis, with winds up to 120 mph, slammed into densely populated southern Myanmar killing more than 84,000 people with close to 54,000 missing.

In 2010, Greece was saved from defaulting on its debts by the International Monetary Fund and the 16 European countries of the eurozone which agreed on a $146 billion loan package for the struggling country.

In 2011, Osama bin Laden, the international terrorist kingpin slain in a surprise raid by an elite team of U.S. SEALs at his hideout near the Pakistani capital, was buried in the North Arabian Sea in a Muslim ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. CIA Director Leon Panetta said Pakistan wasn't told about the raid beforehand to protect its secrecy.

A thought for the day: Anatole France said, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

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