The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 24, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2014 with 282 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 financier Andrew Mellon in 1855; magician and escape artist Harry Houdini in 1874; silent film star Fatty Arbuckle in 1887; baseball Hall of Fame member George Sisler in 1893; pioneer Disney film animator Ub Iwerks in 1901; Republican U.S. presidential candidate Thomas Dewey in 1902; notorious bank robber Clyde Barrow in 1909; poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1919 (age 95); actors Norman Fell in 1924 and Steve McQueen in 1930; dress designer Bob Mackie in 1940 (age 74); British musician Nick Lowe in 1949 (age 65); fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger in 1951 (age 63); comedian Louie Anderson in 1953 (age 61); actors Robert Carradine and Donna Pescow, both in 1954 (age 60), Kelly LeBrock in 1960 (age 54), Lara Flynn Boyle in 1970 (age 44) and Megyn Price in 1971 (age 43); television personality Star Jones in 1962 (age 52); and pro football star Peyton Manning in 1976 (age 38).

On this date in history:

In 1603, Queen Elizabeth I of England died after 44 years of rule. She was succeeded by King James VI of Scotland, uniting England and Scotland under a single British monarch.

In 1934, the United States granted independence to the Philippine Islands (effective July 4, 1946).

In 1965, white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo of Detroit, 39, was killed on a road near Selma, Ala. (Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted of violating Liuzzo's civil rights, but not for murder.)

In 1975, the beaver became the official symbol of Canada.

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in the Gulf of Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil in the largest oil tanker spill in U.S. history.

In 1998, four girls and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., were killed by bullets fired from a nearby wooded area. (The shooters were two boys, ages 11 and 13, who were convicted as juveniles and served prison time.)

In 2003, British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons that coalition forces were well on their way to Baghdad and victory in Iraq was "certain" despite some "anxious moments" ahead.

In 2004, the European Commission fined software giant Microsoft $613 million for EU antitrust violations.

In 2008, the Himalayan monarchy of Bhutan had its first parliamentary elections and attracted nearly 80 percent of eligible voters.

In 2012, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, 71, underwent heart transplant surgery at a hospital in Falls Church, Va.

In 2013, National Rifle Association official Wayne LaPierre said background checks wouldn't have stopped some mass shootings because the gunmen were "unrecognizable" to the system.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

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