The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014 with 297 to follow.

Daylight Saving Time begins.


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 explorer Amerigo Vespucci in 1454; Leland Stanford, railroad builder and founder of California's Stanford University, in 1824; English novelist and poet Victoria Sackville-West in 1892; actor Will Geer in 1902; composer Samuel Barber in 1910; detective novelist Mickey Spillane in 1918; Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, in 1934; actors Joyce Van Patten in 1934 (age 80), Marty Ingels in 1936 (age 78), Raul Julia in 1940 and Trish Van Devere in 1943 (age 71); country singer Mickey Gilley in 1936 (age 78); rock 'n' roll singer Mark Lindsay in 1942 (age 72); former world chess champion Bobby Fischer in 1943; rock musician Robin Trower in 1945 (age 69); actors Linda Fiorentino in 1958 (age 56), Juliette Binoche in 1964 (age 50) and Emmanuel Lewis in 1971 (age 43); Olympic gold medal skier Julia Mancuso in 1984 (age 30); and rapper/actor Bow Wow (born Shad Gregory Moss) in 1987 (age 27).


On this date in history:

In 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, with one dissent, that the African slaves who seized control of the Amistad slave ship had been illegally forced into slavery and thus were free under U.S. law.

In 1862, a battle between ironclad ships -- the Union's Monitor and the Confederate's Merrimac (renamed the Virginia) -- ended indecisively off Hampton Roads, Va.

In 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed commander in chief of Union forces in the U.S. Civil War.

In 1917, several hundred Mexican guerrillas under the command of Francisco "Pancho" Villa crossed the U.S.-Mexican border and attacked the small border town of Columbus, N.M., killing 17 Americans.

In 1945, 343 American airplanes attacked Tokyo with incendiary bombs, killing 83,000 people and destroying about 250,000 buildings over 16 square miles.

In 1959, Barbie, which became a perennially popular doll, made its debut in stores.

In 1986, the module containing the bodies of seven astronauts killed in the Jan. 28 explosion of the shuttle Challenger was located off Florida.

In 1992, a federal judge in New York announced a final $1.3 billion agreement to settle civil suits growing out of the 1989 collapse of Drexel Burham Lambert, once the most powerful firm on Wall Street.


In 2004, John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death for his part in one of 10 Washington-area sniper killings in 2002. (Muhammad was executed in 2009.)

In 2005, Dan Rather stepped down as anchor and managing editor of "CBS Evening News." His departure followed acknowledgment of major flaws in a broadcast about U.S. President George W. Bush's National Guard service.

In 2006, scientists reported evidence of water on a Saturn moon.

In 2008, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was elected to a second term.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama lifted the U.S. limit on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, calling it an important advancement in the cause of science in the United States.

In 2011, the archbishop of Philadelphia placed 21 Roman Catholic priests, accused of sexually abusing children, on administrative leave.

In 2013, a house fire in rural southeastern Kentucky killed five children and two adults.

A thought for the day: "Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave." -- Indira Gandhi

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