The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, May 8, the 128th day of 2013 with 237 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include Jean-Henri Dunant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross Society and a co-founder of the Young Men's Christian Association, in 1828; Harry Truman, 33rd president of the United States, in 1884; Hall of Fame baseball player Edd Roush in 1893; Roman Catholic bishop and broadcaster Fulton J. Sheen in 1895; Nobel Prize-winning Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek in 1899; cornetist and bandleader Red Nichols in 1905; pianist Mary Lou Williams in 1910; blues guitarist Robert Johnson in 1911; author, broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough and comedian Don Rickles, both in 1926 (age 87); former heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston in 1932; actor/singer Rick Nelson and author Peter Benchley in 1940; singer Toni Tennille, also in 1940, (age 73); English rock singer Gary Glitter in 1944 (age 69); rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame member Alex Van Halen in 1953 (age 60); actors David Keith in 1954 (age 59), Stephen Furst in 1955 (age 58) and Melissa Gilbert in 1964 (age 49); and Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias in 1975 (age 38).


On this date in history:

In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River.

In 1879, George Selden of Rochester, N.Y., filed for the first patent for an automobile. It was granted in 1895.

In 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman officially declared V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe.

In 1970, "Let It Be," the Beatles' final original album, was released.

In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the mining of North Vietnam ports in an effort to force the communists to end the Vietnam War.

In 1984, the Soviet Union declared it wouldn't take part in the Los Angeles Olympics, citing fears about security for its athletes. The decision came four years after the United States team boycotted the Games in Moscow.

In 1991, to pressure the government of El Salvador into agreeing to a cease-fire, Salvadoran leftist guerrillas sabotaged a power system, leaving the country with half its normal electrical supply.

In 1996, South Africa voted for a new constitution. Its bill of rights included the right to food, housing and education.

In 2002, following up on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee the FBI had paid insufficient heed to a July memo from an agent who had warned about Arab men with possible terrorist ties taking flying lessons.


Also in 2002, Cardinal Bernard Law of the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese said he had known in 1984 about sexual-abuse charges against a former priest but had turned the matter over to aides and never followed up. The former priest, John Geoghan, was accused in 86 sexual-abuse cases.

In 2003, more than 100 people were reported killed when the main cargo door of a cargo jet suddenly opened at a height of 33,000 feet over the Congo and passengers were sucked out of the plane.

Also in 2003, the World Health Organization reported an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome had reached 31 countries, including the United States, with a total of 7,053 cases.

In 2004, the body of Nick Berg, a U.S. businessman killed by Iraqi militants, was found near Baghdad. A videotape depicting his beheading was shown on the Internet three days later.

In 2006, Lillian Asplund, the last known U.S. survivor of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, died of natural causes at her Shrewsbury, Mass., home. She was 99.

In 2007, six Muslim men were arrested on charges of plotting a killing spree at the U.S. Army's Fort Dix in New Jersey.


Also in 2007, Northern Ireland installed a new power-sharing government linking Catholic and Protestant parties.

In 2008, North Korea gave U.S. officials about 18,000 pages of documents detailing its efforts to reprocess plutonium for nuclear weapons.

In 2009, the government-backed Federal National Mortgage Association -- Fannie Mae -- said it would need an infusion of $19 billion from the U.S. Treasury.

In 2010, the U.S. economy added 290,000 jobs in March, the biggest gain in four years, but the unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent.

In 2011, a senior al-Qaida suspect being moved from his Baghdad cell for questioning grabbed a jailer's gun and set off a 6-hour battle that left at least 14 people dead, including the inmate.

In 2012, Richard Lugar, a U.S. senator for 36 years, was defeated by conservative Richard Mourdock in Indiana's Republican primary election.

A thought for the day: Oscar Wilde wrote, "All that I desire to point out is the general principle that life imitates art far more than art imitates life."

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