Today is Thursday, Oct. 13, the 286th day of 2011 with 79 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include American Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher in 1754; baseball Hall of Fame member Rube Waddell in 1876; actors Lillie Langtry in 1853 and Cornel Wilde in 1912; editorial cartoonist Herbert Block in 1909; puppeteer Burr Tillstrom in 1917; actor/singer Yves Montand in 1921; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1925 (age 86); comedian Lenny Bruce also in 1925; Jesse L. Brown, the first African- American naval aviator, in 1926; actor Melinda Dillon in 1939 (age 72); singer/songwriter Paul Simon in 1941 (age 70); musician Robert Lamm, from the band Chicago, in 1944 (age 67); rocker Sammy Hagar in 1947 (age 64); horse racing Hall of Fame member Pat Day in 1953 (age 58); Chris Carter, creator of "The X-Files," in 1956 (age 55); entertainer Marie Osmond in 1959 (age 52); actor Kelly Preston and football Hal of Fame member Jerry Rice, both in 1962 (age 49); Olympic gold medal winner Cuban high jump specialist Javier Sotomayor in 1967 (age 44); figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1969 (age 42); actor Sacha Baron Cohen in 1971 (age 40); and Olympic gold medal winning Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe in 1982 (age 29).
On this date in history:
In 54 AD, the Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina.
In 1775, the Continental Congress ordered construction of America's first naval fleet.
In 1792, the cornerstone to the White House was laid. It would be November 1800 before the first presidential family (that of John Adams) moved in.
In 1884, Greenwich in England made the prime meridian for Earth's longitude.
In 1885, Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in Atlanta.
In 1903, the Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first World Series, five games to three.
In 1917, as many as 100,000 people gathered in Fatima, Portugal, for the "Miracle of the Sun" and its strange solar activity and, for some, a reported glimpse of the Virgin Mary.
In 1943, conquered by the Allies, Italy declared war on Germany, its former partner.
In 1972, more than 170 people were killed when a Soviet airliner crashed near the Moscow airport.
In 1977, four Palestinians hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in an unsuccessful attempt to force release of 11 imprisoned members of German terrorists called the Red Army Faction.
In 1987, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize -- the first winner from Central America.
In 1990, Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun ended his two-year mutiny, ordered his forces to surrender, and sought refuge in the French Embassy in Beirut after Syrian-backed Lebanese government troops attacked his headquarters.
In 1994, two months after the Irish Republican Army announced a cease-fire. Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland did the same.
In 1999, the U.S. Senate rejected a treaty signed by the United States that banned underground nuclear testing. Despite that, U.S. President Bill Clinton pledged to abide by the treaty's provisions.
In 2003 sports, jockey Bill Shoemaker, one of horse racing's most renowned figures who won nearly 9,000 races, died at his home in San Marino, Calif. He was 72.
In 2004, investigators reported unearthing a mass grave in northern Iraq containing hundreds of bodies of women and children believed killed in the 1980s.
In 2005, about 128 people were killed in clashes between Islamic militants and law enforcement officers in the southern Russian town of Nalchik.
In 2006, Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, dubbed the "banker to the poor," won the Nobel Peace Prize for grassroots efforts to lift millions out of poverty.
Also in 2006, U.S. Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio, the only congressman charged in a Washington lobbying scandal, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a deal calling for a 27-month prison sentence.
In 2008, U.S. markets surged after European leaders announced plans to shore up their financial systems. The Dow Jones industrial average took a record leap of 936.43 points, 11.08 percent, to 9,387.61, grabbing back a large chunk of losses from its worst week in 112 years when the DJIA dropped nearly 2,400 points. The Nasdaq composite and the Standard and Poor's 500 also gained better than 11 percent.
In 2009, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved its $829 billion healthcare reform package on a 14-9 vote, one of five bills to be merged into a single massive proposal.
In 2010, after more than two months entombed half a mile under the Chilean desert, the first of the 33 trapped miners was pulled to safety through a narrow passageway drilled through more than 2,000 feet of rock to be followed in the next 24 hours by the rest of the crew in a dramatic, determined storybook finale to a remarkable rescue mission.
A thought for the day: French playwright Pierre Corneille said, "To win without risk is to triumph without glory."