Today is Wednesday, Oct. 20, the 294th day of 2004 with 72 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and, Mars. The evening stars are Mercury, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include English astronomer and architect Sir Christopher Wren in 1632; French poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1854; James Robert Mann, Illinois congressman and author of the "White Slave Traffic Act," also known as the "Mann Act," in 1856; educator John Dewey in 1859; composer Charles Ives in 1874; actor Bela Lugosi in 1882; singer/pianist/composer Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton in 1889; mystery writer Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay) in 1905; TV personality Arlene Francis in 1908; country singer Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones in 1913; actor Herschel Bernardi in 1922; newspaper columnist Art Buchwald in 1925 (age 79); psychologist Joyce Brothers in 1928 (age 76); former New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle in 1931; actors William Christopher ("M*A*S*H") in 1932 (age 72) and Jerry Orbach in 1935 (age 69); and rock singer Tom Petty in 1953 (age 51).
On this date in history:
In 1818, the United States and Britain agreed to establish the 49th parallel as the official boundary between the United States and Canada.
In 1918, Germany accepted U.S. President Wilson's terms to end World War I.
In 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippines Islands when he landed with American forces during World War II.
In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened public hearings into communist influence in Hollywood.
In 1973, President Nixon fired special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.
In 1982, the world's worst soccer disaster occurred in Moscow when 340 sports fans were crushed to death in an open staircase during a game between Soviet and Dutch players.
In 1990, the rap group 2 Live Crew was acquitted in Miami of obscenity charges arising from a performance of selections from the album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be."
In 1994, Hollywood heavyweight Burt Lancaster died at the age of 80.
In 2000, a former U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty to participating in a terrorist plot against Americans. His testimony directly linked Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 2001, anthrax scares continued across the world as reports of letters with white powder possibly containing anthrax -- nearly all false alarms so far - spread from Japan to Pakistan, Lebanon, Kenya and France. In Washington, where anthrax had been found, Congress said it would resume work on Monday.
In 2002, showing its displeasure with North Korea for restarting its nuclear program, the United States was reported to be considering cutting off vital fuel oil supplies to that country.
In 2003, Thbe London Mirror said that British Princess Diana claimed there was a plot to kill her in a car crash in a handwritten letter 10 months before she died in an auto accident.
A thought for the day: American Red Cross founder Clara Barton said, "The surest test of discipline is its absence."