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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Nov. 22, 2009 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Sunday, Nov. 22, the 326th day of 2008 with 39 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include French explorer of North America Rene Robert de La Salle in 1643; English novelist George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) in 1819; French statesman and military leader Charles de Gaulle in 1890; Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world, in 1898; composers Hoagy Carmichael in 1899 and Benjamin Britten in 1913; comedian Rodney Dangerfield in 1921; actress Geraldine Page in 1924; actors Robert Vaughn in 1932 (age 77) and Tom Conti in 1941 (age 68); writer/director and Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam in 1940 (age 69); Guion S. Bluford, Jr., the first African-American astronaut in space, in 1942 (age 67); tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1943 (age 66); actors Richard Kind in 1956 (age 53), Jamie Lee Curtis in 1958 (age 51) and Mariel Hemingway in 1961 (age 48); tennis player Boris Becker in 1967 (age 42), and actress Scarlett Johansson in 1984 (age 25).

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On this date in history:

In 1718, Edward Teach, also known as the pirate Blackbeard, was killed off North Carolina's Outer Banks during a battle with a British navy force.

In 1935, a Pan American Martin 130 "flying boat" called the China Clipper began regular trans-Pacific mail service. The flight from San Francisco to Manila, Philippines, took 59 hours and 48 minutes.

In 1950, a train wreck in New York City killed 79 people.

In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, 46 and in the third year of his first term, was assassinated during a motorcade in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with Kennedy's slaying but was killed before he could go to trial. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the nation's 36th chief executive.

In 1972, the State Department ended a 22-year ban on U.S. travel to China.

In 1977, the Anglo-French supersonic Concorde jetliner began scheduled flights to New York from London and Paris.

In 1980, colorful actress Mae West died at the age of 88.

In 1989, newly elected Lebanese President Rene Moawad died in bomb blast that also killed 17 other people in Syrian-patrolled Muslim West Beirut.

In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigned after 11 years in office as England's longest-serving leader of the 20th century.

In 1991, the U.S. State Department invited Israel and Arab negotiators to begin bilateral peace talks in Washington.

In 1992, at least 27 people died when tornadoes swept through the U.S. South and Midwest.

Also in 1992, 10 women who had worked for or with Sen. Bob Packwood reportedly accused the Oregon Republican of unwelcome sexual advances.

In 1993, Mexico's Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1997, New Zealanders Robert Hamill and Phil Stubbs arrived in Barbados from the Canary Islands in their boat, Kiwi Challenger, after 41 days, one hour and 55 minutes -- a record for rowing across the Atlantic.

In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that hand count of the state's presidential ballots could continue despite Republican objections. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled against any further recounting, a move that propelled George W. Bush to the presidency.

In 2002, at least 100 people died in riots in northern Nigeria sparked by a religious controversy over the Miss World beauty pageant.

Also in 2002, Indonesian police reported the capture of the prime suspect in October 2002's Bali bombings that killed about 200 people.

In 2004, an African Union helicopter rescued 45 aid workers, 30 of them from the Save the Children organization, amid renewed fighting at Al-Fashir in Sudan's Darfur region.

In 2005, an Arab-American student, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was convicted in Alexandria, Va., of conspiring with al-Qaida to assassinate U.S. President George Bush and hijack airplanes.

Also in 2005, Angela Merkel was sworn in as Germany's chancellor. She was the first woman and first person from East Germany to lead the country.

And, in 2005, Italian police rounded up more than 30 million quarts of Nestle baby formula as a precaution against possible contamination from a chemical used in packaging.

In 2006, Baghdad was put under an emergency curfew after a 24-hour wave of mortar and bomb attacks killed at least 160 people in a Shiite slum neighborhood.

In 2007, the United Nations lowered its estimates of the number of AIDS-infected people worldwide, indicating that the syndrome's growth had slowed for the first time.

In 2008, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and ex-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan say they were refused entry to Zimbabwe, thwarting a two-day humanitarian mission.

Also in 2008, pirates off the coast of Somalia relinquished control of a Greek-owned oil tanker commandeered two months ago.

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A thought for the day: U.S. President John Kennedy said, "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

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