The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Tuesday, March 18, the 77th day of 2014 with 288 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 John C. Calhoun, the first U.S. vice president to resign that office, in 1782; Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States, in 1837; Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1844; German engineer Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name, in 1858; British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1869; clairvoyant and therapist Edgar Cayce in 1877; actors Edward Everett Horton in 1886 and Robert Donat in 1905; winemaker Ernest Gallo in 1909; auto race promoter Andy Granatelli in 1923; actor Peter Graves in 1926; authors George Plimpton in 1927 and John Updike in 1932; former South African President F.W. de Klerk in 1936 (age 78); country singer Charley Pride in 1938 (age 76) and singer/songwriter Wilson Pickett in 1941; Olympic gold medal-winning skier Ingemar Stenmark in 1956 (age 58); singer Irene Cara in 1959 (age 55); actor/singer Vanessa Williams in 1963 (age 51); Olympic champion skater Bonnie Blair in 1964 (age 50); and singer and actor Queen Latifah in 1970 (age 44).


On this date in history:

In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience against the British rulers of India.

In 1925, the worst tornado in U.S. history roared through eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana, killing 695 people, injuring 13,000 others and causing $17 million in property damage.

In 1931, the first electric razor was marketed by Schick.

In 1937, a natural gas explosion at a public school in New London, Texas, killed 410 people, most of them children.

In 1962, France and Algeria signed a cease-fire agreement ending a seven-year civil war and bringing independence to the North African country.

In 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov became the first person to walk in space.

In 1992, hotel queen and convicted tax cheat Leona Helmsley was sentenced to four years in prison.

In 1995, superstar Michael Jordan announced he was returning to professional basketball and the Chicago Bulls after a 17-month break, during which he had tried a baseball career.

In 2003, on the eve of war with Iraq, the U.S. State Department listed 30 countries as members of a "coalition of the willing" supporting military intervention, but only the United States, Britain and Australia were known to be providing troops.


In 2005, doctors removed the feeding tube keeping Terri Schiavo alive after a wide-ranging fight over the brain-damaged Florida woman's care that involved U.S. President George Bush and Congress.

In 2007, Israel's Cabinet voted unanimously to boycott the new Hamas-dominated Palestinian unity government.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a jobs-stimulus measure into law. It provided $17.5 billion in tax cuts and other employer incentives and shifted $20 billion to boost transit programs.

In 2013, a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicated 58 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage, up from 37 percent a decade earlier.

A thought for the day: "There just isn't any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying." -- Robert Mitchum

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