Today is Wednesday, April 24, the 114th day of 2012 with 251 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The evening star is Jupiter.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include French Roman Catholic St. Vincent de Paul in 1581; English novelist Anthony Trollope in 1815; U.S. artist Willem de Kooning in 1904; U.S. poet laureate Robert Penn Warren in 1905; actors Shirley MacLaine in 1934 (age 79) and Jill Ireland in 1936; writer Sue Grafton in 1940 (age 73); singer, actor, director Barbra Streisand and former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, both in 1942 (age 71); actors Eric Bogosian in 1953 (age 60), Michael O'Keefe in 1955 (age 58) and Cedric the Entertainer, born Cedric Antonio Kyles, in 1964 (age 49); and singer Kelly Clarkson in 1982 (age 31).
On this date in history:
In 1704, the Boston News-Letter became the first American newspaper to be published on a regular basis.
In 1800, the U.S. Congress established the Library of Congress.
In 1877, U.S. troops moved out of New Orleans, ending the North's military occupation of the South following the Civil War.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer.
In 1987, genetically altered bacteria, designed to prevent frost damage, were sprayed on a California strawberry field in the first test of this biotechnology in nature.
In 1991, U.N. peacekeeping forces were deployed along the Kuwait-Iraq border.
Also in 1991, Freddie Stowers, a World War I corporal, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to become the first African-American to receive the highest medal for valor in combat.
In 1995, the "Unabomber" struck with a mail bomb that killed Gilbert Murray, president of the California Forestry Association, in Sacramento.
In 1996, the Palestinian National Council voted to drop its official commitment to the destruction of Israel.
In 1997, with ratification by the U.S. Senate, the United States became the 75th country to approve the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In 2003, North Korea announced it had nuclear weapons and had begun making bomb-grade plutonium.
In 2004, Greek Cypriot voters overwhelmingly rejected a U.N. plan for the reunification of the divided Mediterranean island.
In 2005, Benedict XVI was installed in Rome as the 265th Roman Catholic pope, promising to continue the policies of John Paul II.
In 2006, three coordinated bomb blasts shattered part of the Egyptian resort town of Dahab, killing 30 people and injuring more than 115 others.
In 2007, Toyota overtook General Motors as No. 1 in global vehicle sales from January to March, largely because of increased demand for fuel-efficient cars.
In 2008, Iraq's largest Sunni bloc, known as Tawafiq, rejoined Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Cabinet after a yearlong boycott.
In 2009, at least 140 people were killed and 240 injured in a series of bombings in Baghdad over a two-day period.
Also in 2009, the South African ruling party, the African National Congress, won the country's elections with 67 percent of the vote. Jacob Zuma became president.
In 2011, upset over U.S. drone attacks against insurgents in their territory, Pakistanis staged a sit-in to block supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
A thought for the day: Erica Jong wrote: "Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to nurture it in solitude and to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads."