The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 22, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, March 22, the 81st day of 2014 with 284 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 Aries. They include Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck in 1599; author Louis L'Amour in 1908; actors Leonard "Chico" Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team in 1887, Karl Malden in 1912 and Werner Klemperer and Ross Martin, both in 1920; French mime Marcel Marceau in 1923; newspaper executive Allen Neuharth in 1924; composer Stephen Sondheim and televangelist Pat Robertson, both in 1930 (age 84); actors William Shatner in 1931 (age 83) and M. Emmet Walsh in 1935 (age 79); U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in 1934 (age 80); singer George Benson in 1943 (age 71); British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and television journalist Wolf Blitzer, both in 1948 (age 66); sportscaster Bob Costas in 1952 (age 62); actors Lena Olin in 1955 (age 59), Matthew Modine in 1959 (age 55) and Reese Witherspoon in 1976 (age 38); and Canadian skater Elvis Stojko in 1972 (age 42).On this date in history:

In 1791, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation forbidding slave trading with foreign nations.

In 1941, the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River began producing electrical power for the Pacific Northwest.

In 1945, representatives from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen met in Cairo to establish the Arab League.

In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson recalled Army Gen. William Westmoreland as commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam and made him Army chief of staff. (Gen. Creighton Abrams took over in Saigon.)

In 1992, a USAir plane skidded off a runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport during a snowstorm and landed in Flushing Bay. Twenty-seven people were killed.

In 2003, a U.S. Army maintenance convoy in Iraq made a wrong turn and was ambushed. Eleven soldiers were killed and seven, including Pfc. Jessica Lynch, were captured. (Lynch later said she was erroneously praised for heroism: "I'm not a hero. I'm just a survivor.")

In 2004, the founder and spiritual leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, Ahmed Yassin, was killed in an Israeli missile strike in the Gaza Strip.

In 2006, Basque separatists who live mostly in Spain declared a cease-fire, saying they would end their long struggle for independence.

In 2008, Yousuf Raza Gilani became prime minister of Pakistan.

In 2010, the largest U.S. community organizing group, known as ACORN, announced it was disbanding because of declining revenues.

In 2011, an Israeli court sentenced former President Moshe Katsav to seven years in prison for rape and sexual harassment.

In 2012, a group of military officers seized control of the Mali government and ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure who had planned to step down after the elections in April.

In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, visiting Israel's memorial to Holocaust victims, said bigotry and hatred have no place in a civilized world.

A thought for the day: George McGovern said, "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

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