Today is Saturday, Nov. 17, the 321st day of 2001 with 44 to follow.
The moon is waxing, moving toward its first quarter.
The morning stars are Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
The evening stars are Mercury and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include King Louis XVIII of France in 1755; German astronomer and mathematician August Mobius in 1790; social reformer Grace Abbott in 1878; British Army Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in 1887; drama teacher Lee Strasberg in 1901; actor Rock Hudson in 1925; balladeer Gordon Lightfoot in 1938 (age 63); film director Martin Scorsese in 1942 (age 59); actor/director Danny DeVito, "Saturday Night Live" producer Loren Michaels and model/actress Lauren Hutton, all in 1944 (age 57); actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in 1958 (age 43); transexual model/actor RuPaul in 1960 (age 41); and MTV veejay Daisy Fuentes in 1966 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1734, John Peter Zenger, who founded America's first regularly published newspaper, was arrested for libeling the colonial governor of New York.
In 1800, Congress convened in Washington, D.C., for the first time.
In 1869, the Suez Canal in Egypt was opened, linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
In 1881, Samuel Gompers organized the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor.
In 1969, the strategic arms limitation talks (SALT) between the United States and the Soviet Union began in Helsinki, Finland.
In 1987, a report from congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra scandal said, "If the president did not know what his national security advisers were doing, he should have."
In 1989, riot police in Prague, Czechoslovakia, stormed into a crowd of more than 20,000 pro-democracy demonstrators, beating people with truncheons and firing tear gas.
Also in 1989, Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey signed a new abortion law, making his state the first to add new restrictions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Webster case.
In 1991, Son Sen, former defense minister under the regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979, returned to Phnom Penh.
In 1992, an appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled the Watergate tapes and Nixon presidential papers rightfully belonged to the disgraced president when he left office in 1974, so the government owes him compensation for passing a law taking control of them.
In 1993, the House approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Also in 1993, Nigeria Defense Minister Gen. Sani Abacha announced he had dissolved the government and declared himself the nation's ruler.
In 1994, Ireland's Prime Minister Albert Reynolds resigned as lawmakers were about to take a no-confidence vote on his coalition government.
In 1996, debris from a failed Russian Mars probe fell into the sea.
In 1997, 60 people were killed when six Islamic militants opened fire on a group of tourists at Luxor, Egypt. A three-hour gun battle claimed 10 more lives, including those of the gunmen.
A thought for the day: Jane Ace wrote that "time wounds all heels."