Today is Wednesday, Nov. 24, the 329th day of 2004 with 37 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 Sagittarius. They include Dutch philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza in 1632; British novelist and clergyman Laurence Sterne in 1718; Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States, in 1784; gambler, frontier lawman and sports writer William "Bat" Masterson in 1853; painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in 1864; ragtime composer Scott Joplin in 1868; lecturer and author Dale Carnegie in 1888; pianist Teddy Wilson in 1912; actress Geraldine Fitzgerald in 1913 (age 90); columnist William F. Buckley, in 1925 (age 79); former Bush administration spokesman Marlin Fitzwater in 1942 (age 62); and actors Dwight Schultz in 1947 (age 57) and Stanley Livingston in 1950 (age 54).
On this date in history:
In 1863, Union Gen. U.S. Grant launched the Battle of Chattanooga in Tennessee.
In 1869, women from 21 states met in Cleveland to organize the American Women Suffrage Association.
In 1874, Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made the farming of the Great Plains possible.
In 1971, a middle-aged man whose ticket was made out to "D.B. Cooper" hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle. Somewhere south of Seattle, he parachuted from the plane with the $200,000 in ransom he'd collected from the airline and was never heard from again.
In 1985, Arab commandos forced an Egypt Air jetliner to Malta and began shooting passengers, fatally wounding two. Fifty-seven other people died when Egyptian commandos stormed the jet.
In 1989, Czech reform politician Alexander Dubcek made his first public appearance in Prague since the Soviet invasion of 1968.
In 1993, the Brady bill handgun-control legislation cleared Congress. President Clinton signed it into law on Nov. 30, 1993.
In 1995, Irish voters passed a referendum removing the constitutional ban on divorce.
On this date in 2001, the successful cloning of 24 cows was reported by a team of scientists in Worcester, Mass.
In 2002, suspected Islamic terrorists stormed a famous Hindu temple in Kashmir, India, killing seven people and wounding 30 others.
In 2003, jurors in Virginia Beach, Va., recommended John Allen Muhammad be put to death for last year's Washington-area sniper slayings.
Also in 2003, Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, the winningest left-hander in major league baseball history, died at the age of 82.
A thought for the day: Dutch philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza said, "Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."