The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Nov. 7, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Friday, Nov. 7, the 311th day of 2003 with 54 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Marie Curie, discoverer of radium, in 1867; band leader Phil Spitalny (known for his all-female orchestra) in 1890; Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler in 1900; actor Dean Jagger in 1903; musician/comic Red Ingle in 1907; French novelist Albert Camus in 1913; evangelist Billy Graham in 1918 (age 85); jazz trumpeter Al Hirt in 1922; Australian opera star Joan Sutherland in 1926 (age 77); singers Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary) in 1937 (age 66), Johnny Rivers in 1942 (age 61), and Joni Mitchell in 1943 (age 60); and actress Dana Plano ("Diff'rent Strokes") in 1965.

On this date in history:

In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean.

In 1874, the first cartoon depicting the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party was printed in Harper's Weekly.

In 1916, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government in St. Petersburg.

In 1940, only four months after its completion, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, the third longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, swayed one last time and collapsed. No one was injured.

In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected to a fourth term in the midst of World War II but died in office the following April. Harry Truman, his vice president, succeeded him as president.

In 1972, Republican Richard Nixon was re-elected to a second term as president, defeating Democrat George McGovern.

In 1983, a bomb exploded in the U.S. Capitol, causing heavy damage just outside the Senate chamber but no injuries.

In 1985, Colombian troops ended a 27-hour siege of Bogota's Palace of Justice by 35 M-19 guerrillas. Eleven supreme court judges were among the 100 people killed.

In 1987, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his nine-day-old candidacy following criticism of his judicial ethics and his disclosure that he had used marijuana.

In 1989, Democrat David Dinkins was elected as the first black mayor of New York City. In Virginia, Democrat Douglas Wilder claimed victory in a razor-thin race to become the first black elected governor in America.

Also in 1989, "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez was formally sentenced in Los Angeles to die in the gas chamber for 13 murders.

In 1991, basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson disclosed he was HIV-positive and announced he was retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers.

1995, three U.S. servicemen pleaded guilty in a courtroom on the Japanese island of Okinawa to conspiring to abduct and rape a 12-year-old girl.

In 1997, the jobless rate dropped to 4.7 percent in October, the lowest since October 1973.

In 2000, in one of the closest presidential elections ever, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore wound up in almost a dead heat with the winner eventually determined more than a month later following considerable turmoil over the disputed Florida vote.

In 2001, U.S.-led jets resumed bombing in northern Afghanistan, targeting Taliban positions near the country's northeastern border with Tajikistan.

In 2002, Atlanta police said ballistic tests have linked a fatal shooting at an Atlanta liquor store in September to the suspected Washington-area snipers.

And, in 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Saddam Hussein "action will follow" if the Iraqi leader fails to meet demands in a U.N. resolution regarding weapons inspectors.

Also in 2002, actress Winona Ryder was convicted of guilty of grand theft and vandalism in a shoplifting case but drew no jail time.

A thought for the day: French novelist Albert Camus wrote, "The struggle to reach the top is itself enough to fulfill the heart of man."

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