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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Oct. 5, 2009 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Monday, Oct. 5, the 278th day of 2009 with 87 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include French philosopher Denis Diderot in 1713; Chester A. Arthur, 21st president of the United States, in 1829; rocket pioneer Robert Goddard in 1882; restaurant entrepreneur Ray Kroc (McDonald's) and comic Larry Fine of The Three Stooges (the one with the wild wavy hair) in 1902; actor Donald Pleasence in 1919; political activist and defrocked priest Philip Berrigan in 1923; actress Glynis Johns in 1923 (age 86); actor/comedian Bill Dana in 1924 (age 85); Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic, in 1936 (age 73); rock singer/songwriter Steve Miller in 1943 (age 66); actress Karen Allen and Irish rock musician Bob Geldof, organizer of the 1985 Live Aid famine relief concert, both in 1951 (age 58); race car driver Michael Andretti in 1962 (age 47) and actress Kate Winslet in 1975 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1813, the Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was killed while fighting on the side of the British during the War of 1812.

In 1918, Germany's Hindenburg Line was broken as World War I neared an end.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI made an unprecedented 14-hour visit to New York to plead for world peace before the United Nations.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria, hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

In 1989, TV evangelist Jim Bakker was convicted on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for fleecing his PTL flock.

Also in 1989, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent efforts to free his homeland from China.

In 1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, responding to unilateral U.S. action, announced cuts in nuclear weapons that would reduce the number of strategic warheads to 5,000 in seven years.

In 1992, the last of the three pathologists who conducted the autopsy on U.S. President John Kennedy broke his silence and dismissed the conspiracy theories.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the resumption in nuclear testing after China broke the informal moratorium and exploded a nuclear device beneath its western desert.

In 1994, South African President Nelson Mandela ended two days of talks with U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House.

Also in 1994, 53 members of a secretive religious cult were found dead -- the victims of murder or suicide -- over a two-day period in Switzerland and Canada.

In 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the warring parties in Bosnia had agreed to a cease-fire.

In 1999, MCI WorldCom Inc. announced that it had agreed to buy the Sprint Corp. in a $129 billion deal that would be the largest corporate acquisition ever at that point.

In 2000, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavians overthrew the Belgrade government, causing Slobodan Milosevic, the defeated presidential incumbent, to resign, ending 13 years of rule.

In 2001, Robert Stevens, photo editor for America media Inc. of Boca Raton Fla., publisher of the National Enquirer and other tabloids, died after being infected with anthrax.

And in 2001 sports, Barry Bonds hit his 71st home run, most by a player in one season, breaking Mark McGwire's 1998 Major League Baseball record. The San Francisco Giants slugger finished the season with 73 homers.

In 2003, in retaliation to a suicide bombing at a Haifa restaurant the previous day, Israeli planes struck a suspected terrorist training camp in Syria near Damascus.

In 2005, scientists announced that a form of bird flu that jumped directly to humans was the real cause of a 1918 pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

In 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee opened an investigation into the conduct of former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned after reports of sexually explicit e-mail exchanges with an underage male page surfaced.

In 2007, U.S. sprinter Marion Jones, who won five medals during the 2000 Olympic Games, three of them gold, admitted taking steroids to enhance her track performance. She drew a two-year ban and forfeiture of medals on her guilty plea to lying to federal investigators.

In 2008, strategists in both major U.S. political parties say the country's economic turmoil is changing the presidential electoral map in favor of Democrat Barack Obama.

Also in 2008, the commander of Somali pirates holding a Ukrainian ship hostage for $30 million ransom in the Indian Ocean says he is prepared for any kind of assault.


A thought for the day: Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) said: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

© 2009 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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