The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Oct. 13, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Monday, Oct. 13, the 286th day of 2003 with 79 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include American Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher in 1754; actress Lillie Langtry in 1853; actor Cornel Wilde in 1915; puppeteer Burr Tillstrom in 1917; comedian Nipsy Russell in 1924 (age 79); actor/singer Yves Montand in 1925 and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, also in 1925 (age 78); comedian Lenny Bruce and Jesse L. Brown, the first black American naval aviator, both in 1926; actress Melinda Dillon in 1939 (age 64); singer/songwriter Paul Simon in 1941 (age 62); rocker Sammy Hagar in 1949 (age 54); Chris Carter, creator of "The X-Files," in 1957 (age 46); entertainer Marie Osmond in 1959 (age 44); actress Kelly Preston in 1962 (age 41); and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1969 (age 34).

On this date in history:

In 54, the Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina.

In 1775, the Continental Congress ordered construction of America's first naval fleet.

In 1792, the cornerstone to the White House was laid. It would be November 1800 before the first presidential family (that of John Adams) moved in.

In 1903, the Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first World Series, five games to three.

In 1943, conquered by the Allies, Italy declared war on Germany, its former Axis partner.

In 1972, more than 170 people were killed when a Soviet airliner crashed near the Moscow airport.

In 1977, four Palestinians hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in an unsuccessful attempt to force release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany's terrorist group known as the Red Army Faction.

In 1987, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize -- the first winner from Central America -- for his Central American peace treaty.

In 1989, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 191 (190.58) points, the stock market's worst loss since the 508-point crash of October 1987.

In 1990, Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun ended his two-year mutiny, ordered his forces to surrender, and sought refuge in the French Embassy in Beirut after Syrian-backed Lebanese government troops attacked his headquarters.

In 1991, the Group of Seven industrialized democracies agreed to formulate a Soviet economic reform program with Moscow.

In 1992, the first pig liver transplant patient died in a Los Angeles hospital 30 hours after surgery and just hours before she was to get a human organ.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to reinstate an oil and arms embargo against Haiti after its military leaders refused to step down as promised.

Also in 1993, the Bell Atlantic Corporation and Tele-Communications Inc. announced plans for a merger; the deal was worth $33 billion.

In 1994, two months after the Irish Republican Army announced a cease-fire, Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland did the same.

In 1999, the Senate rejected a treaty signed by the United States that banned all underground nuclear testing. Despite that, President Clinton pledged to abide by the treaty's provisions.

Also in 1999, a grand jury in Boulder, Colo., announced it had insufficient evidence to charge anyone in the Dec. 26, 1996, slaying of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

In 2002, Historian Stephen Ambrose, author of numerous books on World War II, American presidents and America's early westward expansion, died of lung cancer. He was 66.

A thought for the day: French playwright Pierre Corneille said, "To win without risk is to triumph without glory."

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