UPI Almanac for Friday, May 16, 2014

The first Oscars, a landing on Venus, Vermont bans fracking … on this date in history.
By United Press International  |  May 16, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, May 16, the 136th day of 2014 with 229 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include William Seward, U.S. secretary of state whose purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million was called "Seward's Folly," in 1801; banker Levi Morton, U.S. vice president under Benjamin Harrison, in 1824; David Hughes, British inventor of the microphone, in 1831; actor Henry Fonda in 1905; author Louis "Studs" Terkel in 1912; bandleader Woody Herman in 1913; entertainer Liberace in 1919; New York Yankees player/Manager Billy Martin in 1928; Irish actor Pierce Brosnan in 1953 (age 61); Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut and actor Debra Winger both in 1955 (age 59); actor Mare Winningham in 1959 (age 55); singer Janet Jackson in 1966 (age 48); actor Tracey Gold and political commentator Tucker Carlson, both in 1969 (age 45); former Argentine tennis player Gabriela Sabatini in 1970 (age 44); and actors David Boreanaz in 1969 (age 45), Tori Spelling in 1973 (age 41) and Megan Fox in 1986 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 1804, the French Senate declared Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.

In 1871, U.S. Marines landed in Korea in an attempt to open the country to foreign trade.

In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had its first Oscars ceremony. "Wings" was named Best Picture in the event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

In 1969, the unmanned Soviet spacecraft Venera 5 landed on Venus.

In 1988, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said nicotine was as addictive as heroin or cocaine and called for the licensing of tobacco product vendors.

In 1995, the leader of a Japanese religious cult was charged with murder and attempted murder in nerve-gas attacks in a Tokyo subway that killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000.

In 1997, Mobutu Sese Seko -- who ruled Zaire for more than 30 years, allegedly looting it of billions of dollars -- fled the capital as rebel forces advanced. (He died in exile less than four months later.)

In 2006, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano appointed Romano Prodi premier amid charges of election fraud from outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

In 2009, a bus collided with stationary truck loaded with diesel fuel in south Nigeria, igniting an explosion and fire that killed at least 50 people.

In 2010, former first lady Laura Bush said in a TV interview that she and her husband, former President George W. Bush, were shocked when they learned Iraq had no arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

In 2012, Vermont became the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from underground deposits.

In 2013, Britain's David Beckham announced he would retire from soccer.

A thought for the day: "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter." -- Marlene Dietrich

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