The almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, May 28, the 149th day of 2012 with 217 to follow.

This is observed as Memorial Day in the United States.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include British statesman William Pitt (the Younger) in 1759; Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz in 1807; all-around athlete Jim Thorpe in 1888; British novelist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in 1908; biologist and politician Barry Commoner in 1917 (age 95); musician Papa John Creach, also in 1917; actor Carroll Baker in 1931 (age 81); Annette and Cecile Dionne, surviving members of Canada's Dionne quintuplets, in 1934 (age 78); basketball Hall of fame member Jerry West in 1938 (age 74); singer Gladys Knight, actor Sondra Locke and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, all in 1944 (age 68); Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member John Fogerty in 1945 (age 67); actor Christa Miller in 1964 (age 48); singer Kylie Minogue in 1968 (age 44); talk show panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 1977 (age 35).


On this date in history:

In 1798, the U.S. Congress empowered President John Adams to recruit an American army of 10,000 volunteers.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was founded by naturalist John Muir.

In 1934, the Dionne sisters, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, Marie and Annette, first documented set of quintuplets to survive, were born near Callander, Ontario, and soon became world famous. Emilie died in 1954, Marie in 1970 and Yvonne in 2001.

In 1961, Amnesty International was founded in London by lawyer Peter Berenson.

In 1987, West German Mathias Rust, 19, flew a single-engine plane from Finland through Soviet radar and landed beside the Kremlin in Moscow. Three days later, the Soviet defense minister and his deputy were fired.

In 1995, Bosnia's foreign minister and five other people were killed when Serb forces downed their helicopter.

In 1996, Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two former business associates of U.S. President Bill Clinton were convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with Whitewater loans. Tucker resigned.

In 1998, Pakistan conducted five underground nuclear tests, prompting U.S. President Bill Clinton to impose economic sanctions against the Asian country.


Also in 1998, in a first, digitized pictures taken by the Hubbell Space Telescope seemed to show an image of a planet outside the solar system. The planet circled two stars in the constellation Taurus.

In 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori easily won the runoff election but nationwide demonstrations against him continued and he would resign in September.

In 2002, scientists say the Mars Odyssey found evidence of ice deposits on Mars.

In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law his modified tax reduction plan which lowered the tax rate for upper- and middle-income taxpayers and trimmed rates on capital gains and dividends.

Also in 2003, a spokesman for al-Qaida told an Arabic-language magazine the terror network wanted to poison the U.S. water supply.

In 2004, the Iraqi governing council gave unanimous approval to the appointment of Iyad Alawi, a prominent secular-minded Shiite and anti-Saddam exile, as prime minister.

In 2008, Nepal's newly elected Constituent Assembly voted to dissolve the 239-year-old monarchy and form a republic. King Gyanendra was given 15 days to step down.

In 2009, a suicide bomber killed 19 people in an Iranian mosque. Two days later, authorities hanged three men, arrested in other attacks, for helping set up the bombing.


In 2010, economic uncertainties in America and Europe were blamed for the U.S. stock market's worst May since 1940. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the month down 7.9 percent, the Standard and Poor's 500 had an 8.2 percent drop in May and the Nasdaq composite was down 8.3 percent.

Also in 2010, as efforts continued to cap the massive runaway oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Interior Department imposed a six-month ban on deep-water exploratory drilling in the Gulf. A federal judge overturned it, however, a month later.

In 2011, Egypt opened the Rafah crossing between Sinai and Gaza to Palestinians, ending a 4-year enforcement of the Israeli blockade. Israel voiced fears of increased arms trafficking.

A thought for the day: Ambrose Bierce defined painting as "The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic."

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