The almanac

By United Press International  |  March 28, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, March 28, the 87th day of 2014 with 278 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 Roman Catholic St. Teresa of Avila in 1515; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aristide Briand in 1862; Russian author Maxim Gorky in 1868; brewers Frederick Pabst in 1836 and August Anheuser Busch Jr. in 1899; naturalist Marlin Perkins in 1905; Hollywood agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar in 1907; Edmund Muskie, the 1968 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate, in 1914; child star Freddie Bartholomew in 1924; Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter administration national security adviser, in 1928 (age 86); basketball Hall of Fame member Rick Barry in 1944 (age 70); actors Dirk Bogarde in 1921, Conchata Ferrell in 1943 (age 71), Ken Howard in 1944 (age 70), Dianne Wiest in 1948 (age 66), Vince Vaughn in 1970 (age 44) and Julia Stiles in 1981 (age 33); country singer/actor Reba McEntire in 1955 (age 59); television personality Kate Gosselin in 1975 (age 39); and singer Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, in 1986 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 1797, Nathaniel Briggs was awarded a patent for the washing machine.

In 1881, P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey merged their circuses to form "The Greatest Show on Earth."

In 1939, Madrid surrendered to the nationalist forces of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1968, the counterculture musical "Hair" opened on Broadway.

In 1969, Dwight D. Eisenhower, World War II hero and 34th president of the United States, died in Washington at age 78.

In 1979, a failure in the cooling system at the nuclear power plant on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania caused a near meltdown. It was the worst accident at a U.S. civilian nuclear facility.

In 1991, just days before the 10th anniversary of an attempt on his life, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan endorsed a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases, reversing his earlier opposition.

In 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltsin survived an impeachment vote by the Congress of People's Deputies.

In 1996, the U.S. Congress approved the presidential line-item veto.

In 2005, a massive earthquake jolted the western coast of Sumatra, killing as many as 3,000 people and destroying hundreds of buildings.

In 2006, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, with ties to several members of Congress, was sentenced to six years in prison after a conviction on fraud charges.

In 2009, the space shuttle Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station during which the ISS was brought up to full power with the installation of its fourth set of solar wings.

In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Afghanistan for the first time since taking office, an unannounced trip to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and address American troops.

In 2011, at least 110 people were killed in an explosion at a southern Yemen weapons factory.

In 2013, teachers in the United States topped all other groups except physicians in how they rate their lives overall, a Gallup poll indicated. Among other things, Gallup's "Well-being Index" said teachers are the most likely to say they "smiled or laughed a lot," experienced happiness or enjoyment and learned or do "something new" each day.

A thought for the day: "Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread." -- Jimmy Carter

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