The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, May 6, the 127th day of 2012 with 239 to follow.

The moon is full. 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 French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre in 1758; Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Arctic explorer Robert Peary, both in 1856; French writer Gaston Leroux in 1868; silent screen star Rudolph Valentino in 1895; restaurateur Toots Shor in 1903; actor Stewart Granger in 1913; actor-director-writer Orson Welles and author Theodore White, both in 1915; baseball legend Willie Mays in 1931 (age 81); rock musician Bob Seger in 1945 (age 67); former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1953 (age 59); TV host Tom Bergeron ("Dancing with the Stars") in 1955 (age 57); musician John Flansburgh in 1960 (age 52); NHL record-holding goaltender Martin Brodeur in 1972 (age 40); and actors Roma Downey in 1960 (age 52) and George Clooney in 1961 (age 51).


On this date in history:

In 1527, German troops sacked Rome, killing 4,000 people and looting works of art and literature as part of a series of wars between the Hapsburg Empire and the French monarchy.

In 1863, Confederate forces commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee routed Union troops under Gen. Joseph Hooker at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

In 1915, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox hit his first major league home run in a game against the New York Yankees.

In 1935, in the depths of the Depression, the Works Progress Administration was established to provide work for the unemployed.

In 1937, the German dirigible Hindenburg burst into flames while docking in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 people.

In 1940, "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In 1941, Josef Stalin became official leader of the Soviet government.

In 1954, 25-year-old British medical student Roger Bannister cracked track and field's most famous barrier, the 4-minute mile, during a meet at Oxford, England. His time: 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.


In 1992, legendary actor Marlene Dietrich died at her Paris home at age 90.

In 1993, two postal workers, both apparently bitter over their treatment at work, allegedly shot co-workers in separate incidents in post offices in Michigan and California, leaving at least three dead and three wounded.

In 1994, Paula Jones accused U.S. President Bill Clinton of making an unwanted sexual advance during a meeting in a hotel room in 1991, when he was governor of Arkansas. It was believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind against a sitting president.

Also in 1994, the Channel Tunnel, a railway under the English Channel connecting Britain and France, was officially opened.

In 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon signed an agreement for a broader mutual effort to fight drug trafficking.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque -- the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

In 2004, the International Red Cross said it had found evidence of widespread mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by coalition forces in prisons across Iraq.


In 2005, a suicide bomber killed at least 58 people in a vegetable market south of Baghdad.

In 2006, the largest rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region and the government of Sudan signed a peace agreement ending their armed conflict in a three-year civil war that claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.

Also in 2006, unbeaten Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby by 6 1/2 lengths.

In 2007, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president of France with 53 percent of the vote in a runoff battle with Socialist Sergolene Royal.

In 2009, Maine voters approved same-sex marriages, joining fellow New Englanders Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.

Also in 2009, Dave Bing, Hall of Fame star for the NBA's Detroit Pistons, was elected mayor of Detroit, succeeding ousted Kwame Kilpatrick.

In 2010, British voters gave the Conservatives control of Parliament, making David Cameron, 43, Britain's youngest prime minister in almost 200 years.

In 2011, the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs in April but the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9 percent with 13.7 Americans reported out of work. As total non-farm payroll employment rose by 244,000, the private sector added 268,000 jobs.


Also in 2011, heavy rains flooded the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, forcing people in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas to leave their homes.

A thought for the day: "England and America are two countries separated by the same language." George Bernard Shaw said that.

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