UPI Almanac for Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today is Thursday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2018 with 263 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter and Venus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include U.S. statesman Henry Clay in 1777; opera singer Lily Pons in 1898; author Beverly Cleary in 1916 (age 102); actor/dancer Ann Miller in 1923; singer Tiny Tim in 1932; jazz keyboard player Herbie Hancock in 1940 (age 78); former South African President Jacob Zuma in 1942 (age 76); actor Ed O’Neill in 1946 (age 72); author Tom Clancy in 1947; entertainer David Letterman in 1947 (age 71); actor Dan Lauria in 1947 (age 71); writer Scott Turow in 1949 (age 69); actor/singer David Cassidy in 1950; musician Pat Travers in 1954 (age 64); writer Jon Krakauer in 1954 (age 64); actor Andy Garcia in 1956 (age 62); country singer Vince Gill in 1957 (age 61); actor Shannen Doherty in 1971 (age 47); actor Claire Danes in 1979 (age 39); actor Riley Smith in 1978 (age 40); actor Jennifer Morrison in 1979 (age 39); actor/model Brooklyn Decker in 1987 (age 31); country singer Jessie James Decker in 1988 (age 30); actor Saoirse Ronan in 1994 (age 24).

On this date in history:

In 1861, the Civil War began when Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

In 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest-serving president in U.S. history, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Warm Springs, Ga., three months into his fourth term. About 3 hours later, Vice President Harry S. Truman was sworn in as chief executive.

In 1955, U.S. health officials announced that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, potent and effective.”

In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, in Vostok 1, became the first human to travel to outer space and the first to orbit Earth.

In 1976, Knopf published Anne Rice’s debut novel, Interview with a Vampire, the first of a series of several books. The book was adapted into a movie starring Tom Cruise in 1994.

In 1981, the Columbia was launched on the first U.S. space shuttle flight. The crowd of more than 3,000 VIPs oohed-and-aahed, shouting, “Go Baby Go,” and staring into the bright early morning sky long after Columbia was out of sight over the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was overthrown in a military coup. He was returned to office two days later riding a wave of public sentiment.

In 2003, Gen. Amir al-Saadi, Saddam Hussein’s top science adviser, denied Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction and surrendered to U.S. forces.

In 2007, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whose novels such as Slaughterhouse-Five resonated with a generation, died in New York at the age of 84.

In 2009, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued a U.S. ship captain, Richard Phillips, held hostage by pirates off the Somalia coast, by killing three of the kidnappers four days after the standoff began. The incident inspired the 2013 Tom Hanks movie, Captain Phillips.

In 2012, North Korea, defying international warnings, fired a long-range test rocket but the launch ended in failure. U.S. officials said the rocket broke up and fell into the sea.

In 2014, pro-Russian gunmen seized police stations and other facilities in an escalating crisis in eastern Ukraine.

A thought for the day: “Before you hate something you should try to understand it.” — Martha Grimes