The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, March 29, the 88th day of 2013 with 277 to follow.

This is Good Friday.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include John Tyler, 10th president of the United States, in 1790; baseball pitching legend Cy Young in 1867; Eugene McCarthy, the Minnesota Democrat whose 1968 presidential campaign focused U.S. opposition to the Vietnam War, in 1916; actor/singer Pearl Bailey, and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, both in 1918; political commentator John McLaughlin in 1927 (age 86); former British Prime Minister John Major, actor Eric Idle and Greek composer Vangelis, all in 1943, (age 69); basketball Hall of Fame member Walt Frazier in 1945 (age 67); Karen Ann Quinlan, the focus of arguments over the "right to die" when she fell into an irreversible coma, in 1954; football Hall of Fame member Earl Campbell and actor Brendan Gleeson, both in 1955 (age 58); gymnast Kurt Thomas in 1956 (age 57); actors Christopher Lambert in 1957 (age 56), Amy Sedaris in 1961 (age 52) and Lucy Lawless in 1968 (age 45); model Elle Macpherson in 1963 (age 50); and tennis star Jennifer Capriati in 1976 (age 37).


On this date in history:

In 1812, the first wedding was performed in the White House. Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of U.S. President James Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Dodd.

In 1886, Coca-Cola was created by Dr. John Pemberton who produced it in his Atlanta backyard.

In 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for passing atomic weapons information to the Soviet Union, were sentenced to death. They were executed in 1953.

In 1961, Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified. The amendment gave District of Columbia residents the right to vote in presidential elections.

In 1971, U.S. Army Lt. William Calley was found guilty in the killing of 22 civilians in Vietnam, an event known as the My Lai massacre.

Also in 1971, cult leader Charles Manson and three followers were sentenced to death in the Tate-Labianca slayings in Los Angeles. The death sentence was later ruled unconstitutional and the four were re-sentenced to life in prison.

In 1973, the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam and the last U.S. prisoners of war acknowledged by the North Vietnamese government were freed.


In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations released its final report on the assassinations of U.S. President John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

In 1991, six-time Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti quit, paving the way for the country's 50th government since World War II.

In 1994, Bosnian Serbs stepped up their bombardment of Gorazde, 35 miles southeast of Sarajevo and one of the U.N.-designated "safe areas."

In 1996, the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee said Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., violated House rules by having close dealings with a wealthy GOP donor with business interests affected by congressional action. It was the third time in two months the panel said Gingrich had broken rules.

In 1999, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 10,000 for the first time.

In 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO.

In 2005, an independent panel investigating the U.N. Iraq Oil-for-Food Program cleared U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan of any wrongdoing but faulted his son and top aides.

In 2006, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party narrowly won the national election, taking 28 seats, forcing it into a coalition situation.


In 2007, sectarian violence flared in Iraq as 60 people were reported killed in a Baghdad Shiite neighborhood and more than 30 others died in coordinated attacks in the Shiite town of Khlais. Earlier, about 140 were reported dead in Tal Afar violence.

In 2008, Puerto Rican Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila pleaded innocent to corruption charges linked to alleged illegal campaign fundraising.

In 2009, Rick Wagoner, chief executive of troubled General Motors during a period of rapid decline, resigned at the request of the Obama administration.

Also in 2009, two deadly episodes emerged during an unusual cross-country outburst of multiple homicides. Eight people died in a shooting rampage at a Carthage, N.C., nursing home and six others were killed in a reported family affair at Santa Clara., Calif.

In 2010, two female suicide bombers killed 39 people in twin attacks on the Moscow subway system.

In 2011, minuscule levels of radiation from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear plant were detected in at least 15 U.S. states but the Environmental Protection Agency said they posed no threat to public health.

Also in 2011, gunmen dressed as police officers stormed a provincial council office in Tikrit in northern Iraq, home town of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, in an attack that left a reported 53 people dead and more than 90 wounded.


In 2012, at least 13 people died in a fire at a prison in northern Honduras, the nation's second fatal prison fire in a month. The earlier fire, one of the century's worst, took more than 350 lives.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

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