The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Oct. 29, 2004 at 3:30 AM

Today is Friday, Oct. 29, the 303rd day of 2004 with 63 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 Scorpio. They include Scottish biographer James Boswell in 1740; singer/composer Daniel Decatur Emmett, who wrote the words and music for "Dixie," in 1815; comedian/singer Fanny Brice in 1891; Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in 1897; political cartoonist Bill Mauldin in 1921; singer Melba Moore in 1945 (age 59); actor Richard Dreyfuss in 1947 (age 57); and actresses Kate Jackson in 1948 (age 56), Finola Hughes in 1960 (age 44), Joely Fisher in 1965 (age 39) and Winona Ryder in 1971 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded in London. He had been charged with plotting against King James I.

In 1901, Leon Czolgosz was electrocuted for the assassination of President McKinley.

In 1923, the musical "Runnin' Wild," which introduced the Charleston, opened on Broadway.

In 1929, the sale of 16 million shares marked the collapse of the stock market, setting the stage for the Great Depression.

In 1969, the first connection on what would become the Internet was made when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute. This was the beginning of ARPANET, the precurser to the Internet developed by the Department of Defense.

In 1974, former President Nixon was listed in critical condition after surgery to combat a potentially lethal blood clot. He eventually recovered.

In 1990, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the gulf crisis must be settled peacefully.

In 1991, in a first-ever meeting between Soviet and Israeli heads of state, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir conferred at the Soviet embassy.

In 1992, Alger Hiss said Russia had cleared him of the charge of being a Communist spy that sent him to prison for four years and helped launch Richard Nixon's political career.

In 1994, a Colorado man was arrested after he sprayed the White House with bullets from an assault rifle. President Clinton was inside at the time, but no one was injured.

In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, who in 1962 became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, returned to space aboard the shuttle Discovery. At 77, he was the oldest person to travel in space.

In 2001, The Justice Department issued a warning against new terrorist attacks, the second such warning in less than a month. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the intelligence leading up to the warning was credible but not specific.

In 2002, President George W. Bush, elected in a chaotic tableau of ballot mishaps and court challenges, signed legislation to help reduce ballot-counting errors and ensure greater citizen participation in the election process.

In 2003, digging through more than 164 feet of rock, rescuers liberated 11 of 13 Russian miners trapped underground for six days after a methane gas explosion.

Also in 2003, the third largest recorded solar blast slammed into the Earth causing a severe, but short-lived geomagnetic storm.

A thought for the day: Scottish biographer James Boswell wrote, "I think no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed, and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellancies of lively conversation."

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