Today is Monday, Oct. 10, the 283rd day of 2011 with 82 to follow.
This is observed as Columbus Day in the United States.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Venus and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include English chemist-physicist Henry Cavendish, discoverer of hydrogen, in 1731; composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1813; actor Helen Hayes in 1900; jazz musician Thelonious Monk in 1917; writer James Clavell and filmmaker Ed Wood, both in 1924; playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter in 1930; actor Peter Coyote in 1941 (age 70); singer John Prine and entertainer Ben Vereen, both in 1946 (age 65); actor Jessica Harper in 1949 (age 62); writer Nora Roberts in 1950 (age 61); rocker David Lee Roth in 1954 (age 57); country singer Tanya Tucker in 1958 (age 53); actor Bradley Whitford in 1959 (age 52); slain journalist Daniel Pearl in 1963; pro football star Brett Favre in 1969 (age 42); actor Mario Lopez in 1973 (age 38); race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1974 (age 37).
On this date in history:
In 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy was formally opened at Fort Severn, Annapolis, Md., with 50 midshipmen in the first class.
In 1886, Griswold Lorillard of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., fashioned the first tuxedo for men.
In 1963, a dam burst in northern Italy, drowning an estimated 3,000 people.
In 1973, Spiro Agnew became the first U.S. vice president to resign in disgrace after pleading no contest to income tax evasion.
In 1985, movie legend Orson Welles, whose remarkably innovative "Citizen Kane" of 1941 was regarded by many as the best American-made film of all time, died of a heart attack at the age of 70.
In 1993, Greek voters returned to power former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and his Pan-Hellenic socialist movement.
In 1994, Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, commander in chief of the Haitian armed forces, resigned to make way for the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In 1995, Israel freed some 900 Palestinian prisoners and pulled its troops out of four towns as the second phase of the peace plan was implemented on the West Bank.
In 1997, major tobacco companies agreed to a settlement in the class-action suit by 60,000 flight attendants who claimed second-hand smoke in planes had caused cancer and other diseases.
Also in 1997, it was announced that the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its coordinator, Jody Williams of Putney, Vt.
In 2001, representatives of 56 Islamic nations, in an emergency meeting at Qatar, condemned the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
In 2002, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts toward peace in the Middle East and his commitment to worldwide human rights and democratic values.
In 2003, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Iranian lawyer Shurin Ebadi for her work in promoting democracy and human rights in Iran and beyond. She was the first Muslim woman to win the award.
In 2005, Angela Merkel became the first woman chancellor of Germany after her Christian Democrats won the parliamentary election.
In 2008, Connecticut became the third state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriages, following California and Massachusetts.
In 2009, with nudging from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, officials from Armenia and Turkey agreed to establish diplomatic ties between the two countries, including the opening of the common border closed since 1993.
Also in 2009, NASA deliberately crashed a hunk of space junk on the surface of the moon to check whether certain lunar craters held significant deposits of water.
In 2010, Hungarian officials evacuated the village of Kolontar amid fears of a second spill of deadly toxic sludge at an aluminum processing plant where at least seven people died when a reservoir failure dumped nearly 25 million cubic feet of chemicals.
A thought for the day: Queen Elizabeth I said, "I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything."