The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 27, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, March 27, the 86th day of 2014 with 279 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 printmaker Nathaniel Currier, of Currier and Ives, in 1813; German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays, in 1845; schoolteacher Patty Smith Hill, who wrote the words for "Happy Birthday to You," in 1868; photographer Edward Steichen in 1879; architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1886; actor Gloria Swanson in 1899; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eisaku Sato in 1901; jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1924; race car driver Cale Yarborough in 1939 (age 75); actors Michael York in 1942 (age 72) and Maria Schneider in 1952; filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in 1963 (age 51); and singers Mariah Carey in 1970 (age 44) and Fergie -- Stacy Ann Ferguson -- in 1975 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 1886, Apache leader Geronimo surrendered to U.S. federal authorities.

In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev replaced Nikolai Bulganin as premier of the Soviet Union.

In 1964, the strongest earthquake to hit North America -- magnitude 9.2 -- struck Alaska, killing 117 people.

In 1977, two Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided and exploded in flames on a foggy runway in the Canary Islands, killing 577 people in the worst aviation disaster in history.

In 1980, a Norwegian oil platform capsized during a storm in the North Sea, killing 123 people.

In 1993, Jiang Zemin was appointed president of the People's Republic of China.

In 1996, an Israeli court convicted Yigal Amir and sentenced him to life in prison for assassinating Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Nov. 4, 1995.

In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

In 2004, NASA's unmanned experimental hypersonic plane reached about 5,000 mph in a test flight -- more than seven times the speed of sound.

In 2005, ailing Pope John Paul II appeared at his apartment window before an Easter crowd in St. Peter's Square but was unable to speak. He silently blessed thousands of pilgrims who wept and cheered.

In 2007, leaders of Myanmar staged a military parade to show off the new capital city, Naypyitaw.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced an agreement with Russia to reduce the countries' nuclear weapons arsenals -- and have regular inspections.

In 2012, a JetBlue flight landed in Texas after passengers tackled a pilot who screamed obscenities and shouted threats about al-Qaida and bombs.

In 2013, Julia Pierson became the first woman to head the U.S. Secret Service.

A thought for the day: "Fame was thrilling only until it became grueling. Money was fun only until you ran out of things to buy." -- Gloria Swanson

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