The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, May 9, the 130th day of 2011 with 236 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Neptune, Mercury and Uranus. Evening stars are Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include abolitionist John Brown in 1800; Scottish novelist James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan," in 1860; Howard Carter, the British Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, in 1874; industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in 1882; Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1883; country singer Hank Snow in 1914; TV journalist Mike Wallace in 1918; tennis champion Richard "Pancho" Gonzales in 1928; English actors Albert Finney and Glenda Jackson, both in 1936 (age 76); TV producer and filmmaker James L. Brooks in 1940 (age 72); former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and pop singer Tommy Roe, both in 1942 (age 70); rock musician Richie Furay in 1944 (age 68); actor Candice Bergen in 1946 (age 66); singer/songwriter Billy Joel in 1949 (age 63); baseball hall of fame member Tony Gwynn in 1960 (age 52); and actor John Corbett in 1962 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

In 1926, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.

In 1961, in a speech to TV executives at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as "a vast wasteland."

In 1974, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened its hearing on the possible impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

In 1978, the body of former Italian Prime Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.

In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT 2 nuclear arms treaty.

In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida's Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened April 30, 1987.

In 1987, 183 people died when a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw.


In 1993, thousands of war veterans, politicians and anti-government demonstrators gathered across Moscow and the former Soviet Union to mark the World War II victory over Germany at Stalingrad.

In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.

In 2003, a well-connected Los Angeles socialite, Katrina Leung, who also allegedly acted as a double-agent for China, was formally charged with passing sensitive documents on to Chinese intelligence officers.

In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion at a stadium in Grozny where Russia's World War II victory was being celebrated. Thirty-one other people also died.

In 2007, a rare truck bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil killed at least 19 people and injured some 70 others at a building housing Interior Ministry offices.

In 2008, the acting chief of the Mexican federal police was assassinated in reported response to the government's crackdown on organized crime and drug cartels.

In 2009, Jacob Zuma, African National Congress leader, was sworn in as president of South Africa.

In 2011, Syrian authorities rounded up dissidents and intense gunfire broke out in a Damascus suburb in continuing violent confrontations between the government and protesters seeking a regime change.


Also in 2010, in Mexico City, thousands of citizens protested raging violence that bedeviled the country since the government launched its drug cartel crackdown and demanded more steps to protect the people.

A thought for the day: Benjamin Franklin said, "Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other."

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