The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, March 19, the 78th day of 2014 with 287 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 Plymouth Colony Gov. William Bradford in 1590; signer of the Declaration of Independence Thomas McKean in 1734; Scottish explorer of Africa David Livingstone in 1813; British explorer Richard Burton in 1821; U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp in 1848; politician/lawyer William Jennings Bryan in 1860; U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Stilwell in 1883; Chief U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren in 1891; comedian Moms Mabley in 1894; "Watergate" Judge John Sirica in 1904; actor Patrick McGoohan in 1928; author Philip Roth in 1933 (age 81); actors Ursula Andress in 1936 (age 78), Glenn Close in 1947 (age 67) and Bruce Willis in 1955 (age 59); and film producer Harvey Weinstein in 1952 (age 62).


On this date in history:

In 1916, eight Curtiss "Jenny" planes of the First Aero Squadron took off from Columbus, N.M., to aid troops that had invaded Mexico in pursuit of the bandit Pancho Villa. It was the first U.S. air combat mission in history,

In 1918, the U.S. Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to establish standard time zones.

In 1931, the Nevada Legislature voted to legalize gambling.

In 1942, with World War II under way, all U.S. men between the ages of 45 and 64, about 13 million, were ordered to register with draft boards in what was sometimes called the "old man's draft."

In 1953, legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille won the only Academy Award of his career when "The Greatest Show on Earth," a big-budget extravaganza about circus life, was acclaimed the Best Picture.

In 1987, South Carolina televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as head of the PTL Club, saying he was blackmailed after a sexual encounter with former church secretary Jessica Hahn.

In 1991, Khaleda Zia became the first woman prime minister of Bangladesh.

In 2003, U.S.-led military forces invaded Iraq.


In 2005, Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 1,250 miles.

In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by calling it a fight the United States "can and must win." He said removing Saddam Hussein from power "was the right decision."

In 2011, former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 85.

In 2013, U.S. researchers said the Iraq War killed 190,000 people, including 134,000 civilians.

A thought for the day: "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryan

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