The almanac

By United Press International  |  May 22, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, May 22, the 143rd day of 2012 with 223 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include German composer Richard Wagner in 1813; Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, in 1859; baseball Hall of Fame member Al Simmons in 1902; actor Laurence Olivier in 1907; game show announced Johnny Olson in 1910; pioneering jazz musician Sun Ra (born Herman Blount) in 1914; critic Judith Crist in 1922 (age 90); French singer Charles Aznavour in 1924 (age 88); entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens, Jr. in 1928 (age 84); activist Harvey Milk in 1930; pianist/composer Peter Nero in 1934 (age 78); journalist Bernard Shaw in 1940 (age 72); Northern Irish political activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams in 1943 (age 69); actors Richard Benjamin in 1938 (age 74), Paul Winfield in 1939 and Michael Sarrazin in 1940 (age 72); Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski in 1942 (age 70); soccer legend George Best in 1946; British songwriter Bernie Taupin in 1950 (age 62); model/actor Naomi Campbell in 1970 (age 42); actor Ginnifer Goodwin in 1978 (age 34); Olympic champion skater Apolo Anton Ohno in 1982 (age 30); and tennis player Novak Djokovic in 1987 (age 25).

On this date in history:

In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great defeated Persian King Darius III at Granicus, Turkey.

In 1868, seven members of the Reno gang stole $98,000 from a railway car at Marshfield, Ind. It was the original "Great Train Robbery."

In 1924, the discovery of the body of Bobby Franks, 13, of Chicago led to the arrest and conviction of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. They were sentenced to 99 years in prison for the so-called thrill killing.

In 1972, Richard Nixon became the first U.S president to visit Moscow.

In 1987, a tornado flattened Saragosa, Texas, population 185, killing 29 residents and injuring 121.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev asked the world's industrialized nations for $100 billion in economic loans and grants to bolster the Soviet economy.

In 1992, Johnny Carson ended his nearly 30-year career as host of "The Tonight Show" with what NBC said was the highest-rated late-night TV show ever.

In 1993, France, Britain, Russia, Spain and the United States approved a joint policy calling for a negotiated settlement of the war in Bosnia. However, the Muslim president of Bosnia rejected the plan.

In 1998, voters in Ireland and Northern Ireland approved a plan to bring peace to violence-torn Ulster.

In 2002, authorities in Birmingham, Ala., convicted a fourth suspect in the 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. Bobby Frank Cherry, 71, a former Ku Klux Klansman, was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2003, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft orbiting Mars took a unique photo of Earth, the first from another planet, showing Earth as a tiny world in the vast darkness of space.

In 2003 sports, Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 59 years to compete in a PGA event. But, her 5-over-par 145 through two rounds of the Bank of America Colonial tournament failed to make the cut.

In 2004, U.S. lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation aimed at expanding high-level military cooperation between the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries.

Also in 2004, Prince Felipe of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne, married television newscaster Letizia Ortiz in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Madrid.

In 2008, a Texas appeals court ruled that state authorities acted improperly when they seized 400 minors at a compound owned by a polygamist church group. The court said the state lacked credible proof the children were in imminent danger of sexual or physical abuse.

In 2009, General Motors struck a deal with union workers whereby GM would finance half of a $20 billion retiree health benefit obligation with company stock.

In 2010, the massive month-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico invaded populated areas along the Louisiana coast as the federal government considered a state-proposed emergency dredging plan.

Also in 2010, stung by criticism and ridicule, Texas educators voted to reinstate Thomas Jefferson to the state's study curriculum after earlier deleting him. School board conservatives said they were trying to correct a liberal slant they believed to be in textbooks.

In 2011, the deadliest tornado to strike the United States in half a century sliced into the heart of Joplin, Mo., on a vicious six-mile sweep, three quarters of a mile wide, packing 200 mph winds, destroying nearly one-third of the city and claiming a reported 162 lives. The National Weather Service estimated more than 300 twisters hit U.S. soil in May.

A thought for the day: William Lyon Phelps wrote, "You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York."

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