Today is Friday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2001 with 59 to follow.
The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.
The morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
The evening stars are Mercury and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1734; Marie Antoinette, queen of France, in 1755; President James Polk in 1795; President Warren G. Harding in 1865; astronomer Harlow Shapley, a pioneer in studies of the Milky Way, in 1885; actors Burt Lancaster in 1913 and Ray Walston in 1918; Australian tennis player Ken Rosewall in 1934 (age 67); columnist-turned-presidential candidate Pat Buchanan in 1938 (age 63); author Shere Hite and actress Stephanie Powers, both in 1942 (age 59); actress Alfre Woodard in 1953 (age 48); and singer k.d. lang in 1961 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states of the Union.
In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour proposed a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Israel became a reality 31 years later.
In 1947, Howard Hughes piloted the 200-ton flying boat Spruce Goose on its only flight, at Long Beach, Calif.
In 1962, President Kennedy announced the Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled.
In 1983, President Reagan signed the bill establishing a national holiday to mark the birthday anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1986, American hostage David Jacobsen was released in Beirut after 17 months. Later disclosures showed his freedom was a trade for U.S. arms sent to Iran.
In 1992, legendary filmmaker Hal Roach died at age 100. He was credited with discovering the legendary comedy team of Laurel and Hardy and went on to produce the "Our Gang" comedies.
Also in 1992, HIV-infected Earvin "Magic" Johnson retired from professional basketball "for good."
In 1993, two Republicans -- Christine Todd Whitman and George Allen -- were elected governors of New Jersey and Virginia, respectively. In New York City, Republican mayoral candidate Rudolph Giuliani defeated Democratic Mayor David Dinkins.
Also in 1993, a new series of wildfires swept along the Southern California coast, destroying more than 300 homes in the exclusive community of Malibu.
In 1995, the Justice Department indicted the Japanese-owned Daiwa Bank on conspiracy and fraud charges linked to an illegal bond-trading scheme.
In 1996, Britain announced a plan to ban ownership of large-caliber handguns.
In 1997, French truck drivers began a weeklong strike, blockading major roads and ports.
A thought for the day: after winning the Masters tournament, golf "wunderkind" Tiger Woods said, "I'm definitely not a pioneer. That's for people like Jackie Robinson and Lee Elder. I'm just a product of their hard work."