The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Dec. 2, 2002 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Dec. 2, the 336th day of 2002 with 29 to follow.

The moon is waning, in its last quarter. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include French painter Georges Seurat in 1859; circus co-founder Charles Ringling in 1863; engineer Peter Carl Goldmark, the inventor of the long-playing record, in 1906; actor Ray Walston in 1914; opera singer Maria Callas in 1923; former Secretary of State Alexander Haig Jr. in 1924 (age 78); actress Julie Harris in 1925 (age 77); former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III in 1931 (age 71); artist and dog photographer William Wegman in 1943 (age 59); actress Cathy Lee Crosby in 1948 (age 54); figure skater Randy Gardner in 1958 (age 44); actress Lucy Liu in 1967 (age 35); tennis player Monica Seles in 1973 (age 29), and pop singer Britney Spears in 1981 (age 21).

On this date in history:

In 1804, Napoleon crowned himself emperor of France.

In 1823, during his annual address to Congress, President James Monroe proclaimed a new U.S. foreign policy initiative that became known as the "Monroe Doctrine."

In 1859, abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, W.Va.

In 1927, the Model A Ford was introduced as the successor to the Model T. The price of a Model A roadster was $395.

In 1942, the Atomic Age was born when scientists demonstrated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at a laboratory below the stands at the University of Chicago football stadium.

The U.S. Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy in 1954 for conduct unbecoming of a senator. The condemnation, which was equivalent to a censure, related to McCarthy's controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military, and civilian society.

In 1961, Fidel Castro disclosed he was a communist, acknowledging he concealed the fact until he solidified his hold on Cuba.

In 1982, 62-year-old retired dentist Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart. He survived 112 days.

In 1990, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein declared that the chance for war was "50-50," depending on U.S. willingness to negotiate the Persian Gulf crisis.

Also in 1990, Aaron Copland, the dean of American music, died at age 90; and actor Bob Cummings died at age 80.

In 1993, Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar was killed in a shoot-out with police and soldiers in the Colombian city of Medellin.

In 1996, two aviators were killed when a Navy training jet crashed at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

In 1997, representatives of 41 countries met in London to discuss the whereabouts of gold and other valuable assets seized by the Nazi government from Jews in Germany and other occupied countries before and during World War II.

In 2001, Enron, the giant Houston-based energy trading company, its stock nearly worthless, became the largest firm ever to file for bankruptcy.

Also in 2001, U.S. forces in Afghanistan captured John Walker Lindh, 20, an American citizen from San Anselmo, Cal., found fighting with the Taliban.

A thought for the day: Casey Stengel once remarked, "There comes a time in every man's life and I've had many of them."

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