The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, April 4, the 94th day of 2014 with 271 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. The evening star is Jupiter.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include social reformer Dorothea Dix in 1802; inventor Linus Yale, developer of the cylinder lock, in 1821; dance school founder Arthur Murray in 1895; baseball Hall of Fame member Tris Speaker in 1888; author/playwright Robert E. Sherwood in 1896; broadcast news commentator John Cameron Swayze and actor Bea Benaderet, both in 1906; blues musician Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield, in 1913; author Maya Angelou in 1928 (age 86); actor Anthony Perkins in 1932; former baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1938; South African musician Hugh Masekela and golf Hall of Fame member JoAnne Carner, both in 1939 (age 75); author Kitty Kelley in 1942 (age 72); Irish television talk show host Graham Norton in 1963 (age 51); and actors Craig T. Nelson in 1944 (age 70), Christine Lahti in 1950 (age 64), Hugo Weaving in 1960 (age 54), Robert Downey Jr. in 1965 (age 49), James Roday in 1976 (age 38) and Heath Ledger in 1979.


On this date in history:

In 1818, Congress approved the first flag of the United States.

In 1841, U.S. President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia after serving for one month. He was the ninth U.S. president and the first to die in office. He was succeeded by Vice President John Tyler, first person to occupy the office without being elected to it.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1887, Susanna Medora Salter was elected as the first woman mayor in the United States -- in Argonia, Kan.

In 1896, the Yukon gold rush began with the announcement of a strike in the Northwest Territory of Canada.

In 1949, representatives of 12 nations gathered in Washington to sign the North Atlantic Treaty, creating the NATO alliance.

In 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of a Memphis hotel. He was 39.

In 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off on its inaugural mission.


In 1991, U.S. Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and four others were killed when their chartered airplane collided with a helicopter near Philadelphia.

In 1992, Sam Moore Walton, founder of Walmart, died of cancer at 74.

In 2000, the Nasdaq composite index plunged 574 points (more than 13 percent) but then rose 500 points in one of the wildest days ever on Wall Street.

In 2003, coalition forces encircled Baghdad and secured Saddam International Airport in overnight fighting.

In 2005, the president of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, officially resigned. He had been driven out by a coup a month earlier.

In 2007, radio talk show host Don Imus was fired for making what was termed a sexually and racially offensive remark about the predominantly African-American Rutgers University women's basketball team.

In 2008, police raided a West Texas polygamist ranch owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and removed 400 minors after reports of sexual abuse of children.

In 2009, North Korea launched a long-range test missile despite warnings from the United States, the United Nations and others. North Korean officials said they sought to determine how to put a satellite into space.


In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama launched his bid for re-election at a time his approval ratings had hit a low of 41 percent.

In 2013, a British judge told Mick Philpott, 56, he had "no moral compass" and sentenced him to life in prison for setting a fire that killed six of his children.

A thought for the day: "There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all." -- Lou Gehrig

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