The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, May 27, the 148th day of 2012 with 218 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 financier Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1794; social reformer Amelia Bloomer, for whom the undergarment was named, in 1818; poet Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the lyrics for "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," in 1819; financier and railroad developer Jay Gould in 1836; frontiersman James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok in 1837; detective novelist Dashiell Hammett in 1894; writer Rachel Carson in 1907; composer Harold Rome in 1908; U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey and actor Vincent Price, both in 1911; golfer Sam Snead in 1912; author Herman Wouk in 1915 (age 97); actor Christopher Lee in 1922 (age 90); former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1923 (age 89); writers Tony Hillerman in 1925 and Harlan Ellison in 1934 (age 78); jazz musician Ramsey Lewis and actor Lee Meriwether, both in 1935 (age 77); actors Louis Gossett Jr. in 1936 (age 76) and Bruce Weitz in 1943 (age 69); singer/songwriter Don Williams in 1939 (age 73); and actors Peri Gilpin in 1961 (age 51), Todd Bridges in 1965 (age 47) and Joseph Fiennes in 1970 (age 42).


On this date in history:

In 1703, Czar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as the new capital of Russia.

In 1930, Richard Gurley Drew received a patent for his adhesive tape, which was later manufactured by 3M as Scotch tape.

In 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was opened. An estimated 200,000 people crossed it the first day.

In 1941, the British navy sank the German battleship Bismarck 400 miles west of the French port of Brest.

In 1968, the U.S. nuclear submarine Scorpion disappeared in the Atlantic with 99 men aboard.

In 1988, the U.S. Senate voted 93-5 in favor of the U.S.-Soviet treaty to abolish intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

In 1990, Cesar Gaviria, 34, was elected president of Colombia after a campaign in which three candidates were killed. He vowed to make no deals with the cocaine cartels.

In 1992, hours after a Russian-brokered cease-fire went into effect in Bosnia, Serb guerrillas launched a surprise mortar bombardment on Sarajevo, killing at least 20 people and injuring up to 160 more waiting in lines to buy bread.

In 1993, five people were killed when a car bomb exploded near an art gallery in Florence, Italy. A few paintings by relatively minor artists were destroyed.


In 1997, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the leaders of NATO nations signed an agreement clearing the way for NATO expansion to the east.

In 1999, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four other Serbian leaders were indicted on murder and other war crimes. Milosevic went on trial in 2002 for war crimes but died in 2006 before the trial ended.

In 2004, a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld Oregon's law authorizing doctors to help their terminally ill patients commit suicide.

In 2005, a suicide bomb killed 19 people at a crowded Muslim shrine in Islamabad, Pakistan, on the last day of a Shiite-Sunni religious festival.

In 2006, a major earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Java, killing a reported 5,000 people and leaving an estimated 200,000 homeless.

In 2007, the bodies of 45 people were found in southern Baghdad. The deaths brought the number killed in April sectarian violence in Baghdad to 631.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions protecting employees from retaliation when complaining about discrimination in the workplace.

Also in 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert became tangled in an investigation over alleged corruption earlier in his career. Olmert denied doing anything improper but fellow lawmakers began calling for his resignation.


In 2009, the death toll from Cyclone Aila in India and Bangladesh stood at 180 with an estimated 6,600 injuries and 180,000 smashed homes.

Also in 2009, Mexican authorities reported arresting 27 mayors and other officials in connection with that country's brutal drug war.

In 2010, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the number of American troops in Iraq would be trimmed to 50,000 by summer while U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan would approach 100,000.

In 2011, a Wisconsin judge granted a permanent injunction that voided the new state law curbing collective bargaining rights for many state and local employees, citing violation of the open meetings law by Senate Republicans prior to their vote on the issue.

A thought for the day: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with great ambitions."

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