Today is Friday, Nov. 12, the 317th day of 2004 with 49 to follow.
The moon is new. The morning stars are Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. The evening stars are Mercury, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include French physicist Jacques Charles in 1746; women's suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1815; Baha'u'llah (born Mirza Husayn Ali), founder-prophet of the Baha'i faith, in 1817; retired Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1908; singer Jo Stafford in 1918; actress Kim Hunter in 1922; Princess Grace of Monaco, the former American movie star Grace Kelly, in 1929; actress Stephanie Powers in 1943 (age 61); rock musician Neil Young in 1945 (age 59); actress Megan Mullally in 1958 (age 46); Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci in 1961 (age 43); actor David Schwimmer ("Friends") in 1966 (age 38); baseball star Sammy Sosa in 1968 (age 36); and figure skater Tonya Harding in 1970 (age 34).
On this date in history:
In 1799, the first North American meteor shower on record took place. Early American astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass said, "The whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets."
In 1892, the first professional football game was played in Pittsburgh, between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
In 1941, the German army's drive to take Moscow was halted on the city's outskirts in World War II.
In 1948, a war crimes tribunal in Japan sentenced former premier Hideki Tojo and six other World War II Japanese leaders to die by hanging.
In 1980, the Voyager-1 spacecraft passed Saturn and sent back some stunning pictures.
In 1981, the shuttle Columbia became the first spacecraft ever launched twice from Earth.
In 1982, former KGB chief Yuri Andropov succeeded the late Leonid Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.
Also in 1982, Polish authorities freed Solidarity founder Lech Walesa after 11 months of internment.
In 1990, Akihito was crowned the 125th emperor of Japan.
In 1991, about 50 people were killed when Indonesian troops opened fire on protesters in the province of East Timor.
In 1992, Volker Keith Meinhold became the first openly gay person on active duty in the American military when, armed with a court order, he reported to work at Moffett Naval Air Station in Mountain View, Calif., for reinstatement as a chief petty officer.
In 1993, pop star Michael Jackson, hounded by allegations that he had molested a teenage boy, canceled the rest of his worldwide "Dangerous" tour, citing an addiction to painkillers.
In 1996, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, two days before his death, joined a friend-of-court brief petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to reject assisted suicide.
In 1997, two defendants, Ramzi Ahmed and Eyad Ismoil, were convicted of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Four other men had been convicted in 1994.
In 2001, an American Airlines Airbus crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York. More than 260 people died in the crash.
In 2002, a new tape surfaced from suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in which he warned U.S. allies to be ready for the consequences of supporting Washington against his al-Qaida network.
In 2003, the defense rested its case in the Virginia Beach, Va., trial of accused Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad after only three hours. The state is seeking the death penalty.
A thought for the day: women's suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal."