The almanac

By United Press International   |   Nov. 8, 2008 at 3:30 AM

Today is Saturday, Nov. 8, the 313th day of 2008 with 53 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn and Mercury. The evening stars are Mars, Venus, Neptune, Jupiter and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include British astronomer Edmond Halley in 1656; author Margaret Mitchell ("Gone With the Wind") in 1900; actress June Havoc in 1913 (age 95); heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christiaan Barnard in 1922; TV journalist Morley Safer ("60 Minutes") in 1931 (age 77); singers Patti Page in 1927 (age 81), Minnie Riperton in 1947 and Bonnie Raitt in 1949 (age 59); TV personality Mary Hart in 1950 (age 58); actress Alfre Woodard in 1952 (age 56); singer Ricki Lee Jones in 1954 (age 54); and actresses Courtney Thorne-Smith in 1967 (age 41) and Parker Posey in 1968 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1793, the Louvre in Paris, now containing one of the world's richest art collections, became a public museum after two centuries as a royal palace.

In 1837, Mount Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts became the first U.S. college founded exclusively for women.

In 1864, amid the U.S. Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term as president. He was assassinated five months later.

In 1889, Montana was admitted to the union as the 41st state.

In 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays.

In 1942, as World War II raged on, more than 400,000 Allied soldiers invaded North Africa.

In 1982, a smoky fire set by a prisoner in a Biloxi, Miss., jail killed 28 people.

In 1985, a judge overturned Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's conviction for a 1966 triple killing in a Patterson, N.J., bar, freeing the former boxer after 19 years in prison.

In 1988, U.S. Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush was elected the 41st president of the United States.

In 1991, the European Community imposed an economic embargo on Yugoslavia in an effort to halt the civil war.

In 1994, in a stunning upset, Republican candidates swept the general election, regaining control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress. It marked the first time in 40 years the Republicans controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In 2001, a top aide said U.S. President George Bush had "no plans" to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the U.N. General Assembly because in the U.S. view, Arafat hadn't done enough to stop the violence in Israel and the West Bank.

In 2002, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a tough, new U.S.-British sponsored resolution authorizing the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq and "serious consequences" if Baghdad failed to cooperate.

Also in 2002, U.S. President George Bush assured a Muslim audience that the United States' war was against a network of terrorists and not against the Islamic religion or Muslim civilization.

In 2003, a suicide bomb attack on an Arab residential compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killed 18 and wounded 110.

In 2005, a defense lawyer for one of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's co-defendants was gunned down in Baghdad.

Also in 2005, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin declared a state of emergency in a bid to quell the nation's worst rioting in decades.

In 2006, U.S. President George Bush introduced former CIA Director Robert Gates as his next secretary of defense, succeeding Donald Rumsfeld.

And, South Dakota voters defeated a ban on virtually all abortions in the state with 56 percent of voters turning down the measure.

In 2007, the U.S. Senate handed George Bush the first veto override of his presidency, voting 79-to-14 in favor of a $23 billion water projects bill.

Also in 2007, 34 coal miners were trapped underground by a methane gas leak in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou. Fifty-two others escaped.

A thought for the day: author George Sand wrote, "We cannot tear out a single page of our life but we can throw the whole book in the fire."

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