Today is Monday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2006 with 41 to follow.
The moon is new. The morning stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars. The evening stars are Jupiter, Pluto, Venus, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include botanist John Merle Coulter in 1851; Norman Thomas, six times the Socialist Party candidate for U.S. president, in 1884; "Dick Tracy" creator Chester Gould in 1900; TV commentator Alistair Cooke, in 1908; singer/actress Judy Canova in 1916; actress Gene Tierney in 1920; U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1925; actresses Kaye Ballard in 1926 (age 80) and Estelle Parsons in 1927 (age 79); actor/TV game show host Richard Dawson in 1932 (age 74); comedian Dick Smothers in 1939 (age 67); and actors Veronica Hamel in 1943 (age 63); Richard Masur in 1948 (age 58), Bo Derek in 1956 (age 50), Sean Young in 1959 (age 47), and Ming-Na ("ER") in 1963 (age 43).
On this date in history:
In 1272, Edward I was proclaimed king of England.
In 1780, Britain declared war on Holland.
In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
In 1943, the Battle of Tarawa-Makin, marking the beginning of the U.S. World War II offensive against Japan in the Central Pacific, began.
In 1945, 24 German leaders went on trial at Nuremberg before the International War Crimes Tribunal.
Also in 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain died.
In 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced U.S. Marines would go to Lebanon to assist in the evacuation of PLO fighters.
In 1986, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane called the secret arms deal he arranged in Iran a "mistake" that failed to gauge public disapproval.
In 1991, the United States provided $1.5 billion in food and technical assistance to the Soviet Union, about half of what was requested.
In 1992, fire erupted at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's official residence west of London, causing much damage. The queen and Prince Andrew pitched in to help save priceless artworks and other valuables housed in the castle.
In 1993, the U.S. Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In 2002, on the eve of the NATO summit, U.S. President George W. Bush called for a "coalition of the willing," to help the United States disarm Iraq if necessary.
Also in 2002, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, awaiting trial for war crimes, was rebuffed in his effort to gain temporary freedom on health grounds.
In 2003, 27 people were reported killed in Istanbul in two blasts that targeted a U.K. bank and the British consulate. Another 400 were wounded.
In 2004, House Republicans blocked a deal on a bill that would create a Cabinet-level director of National Intelligence to oversee non-military agencies, including the CIA.
Also in 2004, Palestinians began a formal search for a successor to Yasser Arafat. The next president of the Palestinian Authority was scheduled to be chosen in a Jan. 9 election.
In 2005, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ruled out an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying such a move would further endanger the United States.
A thought for the day: Raymond Carver said, "Maybe I just don't understand poetry. I admit it's not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read."