The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 20, 2003 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2003 with 41 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include botanist John Merle Coulter in 1851; Norman Thomas, six times the Socialist Party candidate for U.S. president, in 1884; "Dick Tracy" creator Chester Gould in 1900; TV commentator Alistair Cooke, in 1908 (age 95); singer/actress Judy Canova in 1916; actress Gene Tierney in 1920; Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1925; actresses Kaye Ballard in 1926 (age 77) and Estelle Parsons in 1927 (age 76); actor/TV game show host Richard Dawson in 1932 (age 71); comedian Dick Smothers in 1939 (age 64); and actors Veronica Hamel in 1943 (age 60), Richard Masur in 1948 (age 55), Bo Derek in 1956 (age 47), Sean Young in 1959 (age 44) and Ming-Na ("ER") in 1967 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1272, Edward I was proclaimed King of England.

In 1780, Britain declared war on Holland.

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1943, the Battle of Tarawa-Makin, marking the beginning of the U.S. World War II offensive against Japan in the Central Pacific, began.

In 1945, 24 German leaders went on trial at Nuremberg before the International War Crimes Tribunal.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II of England, married Philip Mountbatten.

In 1975, Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. He lost to incumbent Gerald Ford, who was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Also in 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain died.

In 1982, President Reagan announced U.S. Marines would go to Lebanon to assist in the evacuation of PLO fighters.

In 1986, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane called the secret arms deal he arranged in Iran a "mistake" that failed to gauge public disapproval.

Also in 1986, the World Health Organization announced a coordinated global effort against the disease AIDS.

In 1990, British Prime Minister Thatcher failed to win a 65-percent majority in a Conservative Party vote, forcing a runoff against Michael Heseltine.

In 1991, the United States provided $1.5 billion in food and technical assistance to the Soviet Union, about half of what was requested.

In 1992, fire erupted at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's official residence west of London, causing much damage. The queen and Prince Andrew pitched in to help save priceless artworks and other valuables housed in the castle.

In 1993, the U.S. Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In 2002, on the eve of the NATO summit, President George W. Bush called for a "coalition of the willing," to help the United States disarm Iraq, should world pressure fail to persuade Saddam Hussein to give up his weapons voluntarily

Also in 2002, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, awaiting trial for war crimes, was rebuffed in his effort to gain temporary freedom on health grounds.

A thought for the day: Raymond Carver said, "Maybe I just don't understand poetry. I admit it's not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read."

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