UPI Almanac for Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Today is Wednesday, May 9, the 129th day of 2018 with 236 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include abolitionist John Brown in 1800; Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, in 1860; Howard Carter, the British Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, in 1874; industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in 1882; Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1883; TV journalist Mike Wallace in 1918; tennis champion Richard “Pancho” Gonzales in 1928; actor Albert Finney in 1936 (age 82); actor Glenda Jackson in 1936 (age 82); TV producer/filmmaker James L. Brooks in 1940 (age 78); former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 1942 (age 76); pop singer Tommy Roe in 1942 (age 76); musician Richie Furay in 1944 (age 74); actor Candice Bergen in 1946 (age 72); singer/songwriter Billy Joel in 1949 (age 69); baseball Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn in 1960; actor John Corbett in 1961 (age 57); rapper Ghostface Killah, born Dennis Coles, in 1970 (age 48); actor Rosario Dawson in 1979 (age 39); actor Chris Zylka in 1985 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

In 1926, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.

In 1961, in a speech to TV executives at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as “a vast wasteland.”

In 1963, civil rights demonstrators and law enforcement officials agreed upon an 11th-hour truce in Birmingham, Ala., preventing widespread protests.

In 1978, former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.

In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT II nuclear arms treaty. The accord was signed in June, but never formally went into effect.

In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida’s Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened April 30, 1987.

In 1987, a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw, killing 183 people.

In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.

In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion that also killed 31 other people at a stadium in Grozny where Russia’s World War II victory was being celebrated. Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attack.

In 2009, Jacob Zuma, African National Congress leader, was sworn in as president of South Africa.

In 2012, President Barack Obama said he had reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage.

In 2013, authorities in Pakistan said Taliban gunmen kidnapped Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. He was rescued May 10, 2016, in a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In 2014, An Arkansas judge struck down the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying there was “no rational reason” for preventing gay couples from marrying.

In 2017, South Koreans elected Moon Jae-in as president in a snap election after the ouster of Park Gun-hye.

In 2017, President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey citing mistakes he allegedly made in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. The move prompted allegations of obstruction, though, when Trump later said he fired Comey over the Russia investigation.

A thought for the day: “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” — Walter Cronkite