The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 17, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2003 with 75 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include Jupiter Hammon, America's first published black poet, in 1711; actress Irene Ryan in 1903; big band trombonist and wide-eyed comic Jerry Colonna, best remembered as a featured comedian on Bob Hope shows, in 1905; playwright Arthur Miller in 1915 (age 88); actress Rita Hayworth in 1918; actor Tom Poston in 1927 (age 76); actor Montgomery Clift in 1920; newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin in 1930 (age 73); daredevil Robert "Evel" Knievel in 1938 (age 5) actors Michael McKean in 1940 (age 63), and Margot Kidder and George Wendt, both in 1948 (age 55); and former astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, in 1956 (age 47); rapper Eminem in 1972 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1777, at one of the turning points of the American Revolution, British Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga, N.Y.

In 1945, Juan Peron became dictator of Argentina. He remained in power for 11 years before being overthrown.

In 1967, the rock musical "Hair" opened at the Public Theater in New York City.

In 1973, the Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, commonly known as OPEC, said it would cut oil exports to the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. A full oil embargo hit the U.S. in December causing a serious energy crisis.

1973, In 1979, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Roman Catholic nun who cared for the sick and poor, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1986, Congress passed a landmark immigration bill, the first U.S. immigration law authorizing penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.

In 1989, the most powerful California earthquake since the legendary temblor of 1906 struck the San Francisco Bay Area at evening rush hour, just before scheduled start of Game Three of the World Series in San Francisco between the Giants and the Oakland A's. At least 67 people were killed or eventually died of injuries.

In 1990, U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said military force would be a legitimate response to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait if sanctions did not work.

In 1992, the Justice Department said it would investigate the case of a prison inmate who said he was silenced during the 1988 presidential campaign after claiming he once sold marijuana to Dan Quayle, the Republican candidate for vice president.

In 1994, North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program and allow international inspections of its facilities.

In 1996, O.J. Simpson, who had been acquitted in a highly publicized trial of murdering his estranged wife and her friend, went on trial in civil court in a suit brought by the victims' families, alleging responsibility for the deaths.

In 1998, by request of Spanish authorities, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet for questioning about "crimes of genocide and terrorism that include murder."

In 2000, Vice President Gore and his Republican challenger, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, met in St. Louis for the third and final of their presidential debates.

In 2001 the anthrax scare continued as Congress began closing down for security sweeps after 321 staffers and police tested positive for exposure to anshtas. Investigations also cthe House and its offices closed

A thought for the day: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, "With love one can live even without happiness."

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