The Almanac

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

Today is Saturday, Oct. 30, the 304th day of 2004 with 62 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 John Adams, second president of the United States, in 1735; French Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley in 1839; French poet Paul Valery in 1871; poet Ezra Pound in 1885; strongman Charles Atlas in 1894; actress Ruth Gordon in 1896; film director Louis Malle in 1932; rock singer Grace Slick in 1939 (age 65); actor/director Henry Winkler in 1945 (age 59); news correspondent Andrea Mitchell in 1946 (age 58); and actor Harry Hamlin in 1951 (age 53).

On this date in history:

In 1817, Simon Bolivar established the independent government of Venezuela.

In 1893, the Columbian Exposition closed in Chicago.

In 1938, Orson Welles triggered a national panic with a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion, based on H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

In 1941, more than a month before the United States entered World War II, an American destroyer, the Reuben James, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine.

In 1975, as dictator Francisco Franco lay near death, Prince Juan Carlos assumed power in Spain.

In 1983, the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced plans to become the first African-American to mount a full-scale campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1991, the Middle East peace conference convened in Madrid, Spain. The participants included Israel, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied territories.

In 1992, Muslim Slav, Croatian soldiers and civilians were driven from the strategic Bosnian town of Jajce in fierce street battles with Serbian forces.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council condemned Haiti's military leaders for preventing the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In 1995, by a narrow margin, Quebec voters decided to remain a part of Canada.

In 1996, Michael Kahoe, who ran the FBI's violent crime division, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, admitting he destroyed a report which detailed FBI misconduct in the 1992 Idaho standoff that killed outlaw Randy Weaver's wife and teenage son.

In 2000, entertainer Steve Allen died at age 78. He emceed the original "Tonight Show" and composed more than 4,000 songs.

In 2001, terrorist strikes, coupled with the parade of bleak corporate news and a slew of layoff announcements since Sept. 11, slashed October's consumer confidence to its lowest level in more than seven 7 years.

Also in 2001, tropical storm Allison, which caused $5 billion in damage, was the costliest storm in the nation's history, according to an internal report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Twenty-three people died in the storm.

In 2002, Russia broke four days of official silence on the composition of gas used by Russian special forces in the raid on a Moscow theatre that killed more than 100 hostages and said an opiate had been used in the operation.

In 2003, the death toll in the Southern California wildfire outbreak was set at 20 with 2,605 homes destroyed and 657,000 acres seared.

Also in 2003, Israeli security officials said Palestinian terror organizations have the ability to carry out chemical attacks in Israel.

A thought for the day: in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams said, "You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other."

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