The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Oct. 4, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2003 with 88 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States, in 1822; Frederic Remington, painter of the American West, in 1861; journalist/author Damon Runyan in 1884; pioneer movie comedian Buster Keaton in 1895; actors Charlton Heston in 1924 (age 79), Clifton Davis in 1945 (age 58), Susan Sarandon in 1946 (age 57) and Armand Assante in 1949 (age 54); authors Jackie Collins and Anne Rice, both in 1941 (age 62); singer Patti LaBelle in 1944 (age 59); and actress Alicia Silverstone in 1976 (age 27).

On this date in history:

In 1777, American forces under Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British in a battle at Germantown, Pa.

In 1890, Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik-1.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York City on the first visit by a reigning pope to the United States.

In 1976, Earl Butz resigned as agriculture secretary with an apology for what he called the "gross indiscretion" of uttering a racist remark.

In 1989, Art Shell was hired as head coach of the Oakand Raiders, making him the first black coach in the modern NFL.

In 1991, 24 countries, including the United States, signed an agreement banning mineral and oil exploration in Antarctica for 50 years.

In 1992, as many as 250 people were killed when an El Al 747 cargo plane crashed into an apartment building on the outskirts of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Also in 1992, the Mozambique government and RENAMO rebels signed an historic peace accord, ending 16 years of civil war in the southeast African nation.

In 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin decided to keep Adm. Frank Kelso as Chief of Naval Operations, despite his involvement in the "Tailhook Scandal."

Also in 1993, President Clinton ordered several hundred more U.S. troops to Somalia one day after the deaths of three Marines in Mogadishu.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II visited the United States for the fourth time.

Also in 1995, Hurricane Opal cut a path of destruction through the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

In 1997, hundreds of thousands of Christian men gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to reaffirm their faith and to pledge to preserve the structure of the family. The rally was organized by Promise Keepers, an evangelical group founded by Bill McCartney, the former college football coach.

In 2001, a Siberian Airlines jetliner exploded and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 64 passengers and 12 crew members. The U.S. said later evidence showed the plane had been hit by a missile fired during a Ukranian military training exercise.

Also in 2001, the Labor Department reported 528,000 new claims for unemployment, a nine-year high.

And, in 2001 sports, Rickey Henderson of the San Diego Padres scored his 2,246th run, breaking Ty Cobb's major league record.

In 2002, The so-called "shoe bomber," Richard Reid, pleaded guilty to all charges against him, stemming from his alleged effort to detonate explosives hidden in his sneakers during a 2001 Paris-to-Miami flight.

A thought for the day: author Damon Runyan wrote, "... always try to rub up against money, for if you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you."

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