Today is Monday, Oct. 30, the 303rd day of 2006 with 62 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn and Mars. The evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Pluto, Jupiter, 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 67); actor/director Henry Winkler in 1945 (age 61); news correspondent Andrea Mitchell in 1946 (age 60); and actor Harry Hamlin in 1951 (age 55).
On this date in history:
In 1817, Simon Bolivar established the independent government of Venezuela.
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 1983, the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced plans to become the first African-American to mount a full-scale campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the United States.
In 1991, the Middle East peace conference convened in Madrid, Spain with participants including 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 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 U.S. consumer confidence to its lowest level in more than seven years.
Also in 2001, Tropical Storm Allison, which caused $5 billion in damage, was the costliest storm in the nation's history at the time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
In 2002, Russia broke four days of official silence on the composition of gas used by special forces in the raid on a Moscow theater 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 had the ability to carry out chemical attacks in Israel.
In 2004, Yasser Arafat's closest aides said the 75-year-old, long-time Palestinian leader had lost control of his mental faculties and could not communicate clearly. Arafat was flown to Paris for treatment of what was believed to be an acute blood disorder.
In 2005, Indian authorities sent army divers to look for people trapped in a derailed train near Veligonda, the result of massive flooding. Officials said 112 died in the train wreck while another 100 perished in the flood.
Also in 2005, an obscure radical Islamic group in India claimed responsibility for the bombings at two crowded New Delhi markets and on a bus that killed more than 60 people and injured close to 200.
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." (The two former presidents and political rivals died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.)