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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Nov. 11, 2008 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 11, the 316th day of 2008 with 50 to follow.

This is Veterans Day in the United States.

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 Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1821; U.S. Army Gen. George Patton in 1885; actor Pat O'Brien in 1899; Alger Hiss, who was accused of being a communist spy in Washington in the late 1940s, in 1904; novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in 1922; comedian Jonathan Winters in 1925 (age 83); jazz musician Mose Allison in 1927 (age 81); golfer Frank "Fuzzy" Zoeller in 1951 (age 57); and actors Demi Moore in 1962 (age 46); Philip McKeon and Calista Flockhart, both in 1964 (age 44) and Leonardo DiCaprio in 1974 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1831, Nat Turner, who led fellow slaves on a bloody uprising in Virginia, was hanged. Turner, an educated minister, believed he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery. Some 60 whites were killed in the two-day rampage.

In 1889, Washington was admitted to the union as the 42nd state.

In 1918, World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice.

In 1921, U.S. President Warren Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1938, Kate Smith first performed "God Bless America" on her weekly radio show. The song had been written for her by Irving Berlin.

In 1945, composer Jerome Kern, who wrote such memorable tunes as "Ol' Man River," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris," died at the age of 60.

In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off on the first commercial space mission.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Anthony Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court after Judge Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his nomination and Judge Robert Bork was rejected by the Senate.

In 1989, an estimated 1 million East Germans poured into reopened West Germany for a day of celebration, visiting and shopping. Most returned home.

In 1990, Stormie Jones, the Texas girl who underwent the world's first heart-liver transplant, died in Pittsburgh of a possible heart infection.

In 1992, the Church of England broke the tradition of a male-only clergy when it voted to allow the ordination of women as priests.

In 1994, Jimi Hendrix's stage outfit, John Lennon's "army" shirt and guitars from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and the Beach Boys were among the items sold at the first pop memorabilia and guitar sale at Christie's in New York.

In 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks, U.S. President George Bush and leaders from around the world stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center ruins and, in a colorful and solemn ceremony, honored the dead from more than 80 nations.

In 2002, as many as 34 people were killed by tornadoes and straight-line windstorms that swept across the U.S. South and the Ohio Valley.

In 2004, Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader whose colorful career ranged from terrorist to diplomat, a key figure in the forever smoldering Middle East, died in a Paris hospital after several days in a coma. He was 75.

In 2005, Harvard-educated Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, dubbed the "Iron Lady," claimed victory as the first woman president of Liberia.

In 2006, reports say medical care shortages may have led to the deaths of thousands of Iraqis despite the infusion of nearly $500,000. Sectarian violence, theft, corruption and mismanagement -- and the reported killings of hundreds of doctors -- were blamed.

Also in 2006, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel's recent attacks in Gaza.

And, an anonymous tip led investigators to a mass grave in Bosnia containing more than 100 victims of the infamous Srebrenica massacre.

In 2007, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, under intense international pressure to end his emergency rule, said elections would be before Jan. 9.


A thought for the day: upon formation of United Artists film corporation, Richard Rowland said, "The lunatics have taken charge of the asylum." (UA was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith.)

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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