The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, March 7, the 66th day of 2014 with 299 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include English astronomer John Herschel in 1792; English painter Edwin Henry Landseer in 1802; U.S. newspaper publisher and philanthropist William Rockhill Nelson in 1841; American botanist Luther Burbank in 1849; Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian in 1872; French composer Maurice Ravel in 1875; actor Anna Magnani in 1908; NBC weatherman Willard Scott in 1934 (age 80); race car driver Janet Guthrie in 1938 (age 76); former Disney executive Michael Eisner (age 72) and TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, both in 1942; actors Daniel J. Travanti in 1940 (age 74) and John Heard in 1945 (age 69); musician Townes Van Zandt in 1944; football Hall of fame members Franco Harris in 1950 (age 64) and Lynn Swann in 1952 (age 62); Czech tennis Hall of Fame member Ivan Lendl in 1960 (age 54); comedienne Wanda Sykes in 1964 (age 50); and actor Rachel Weisz in 1970 (age 44).


On this date in history:

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the telephone.

In 1887, North Carolina State University was founded.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered Nazi troops into the Rhineland, violating the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1945, the U.S. 1st Army crossed the Rhine at Remagen in Germany. (World War II in Europe ended two months later.)

In 1984, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Wilson as the first American ambassador to the Vatican in 117 years.

In 1985: "We Are the World," a song composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by a series of high-profile music stars was released worldwide with the goal of generating funds for the USA for Africa charity. (The song and related promotions eventually raised about $63 million.)

In 2002, More than 600 people were reported dead after several days of Hindu-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat, India.

In 2004, V. Gene Robinson, openly gay and controversial, became the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.


In 2007, an Indonesian Garuda Airlines Boeing 737-400 crashed and burned on landing in Yogyakarta. Forty-nine of 140 people on the aircraft died.

In 2012, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a controversial bill requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the procedure.

In 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed John Brennan as director of the CIA.

A thought for the day: Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."

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