The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 3, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Oct. 3, the 276th day of 2005 with 89 to follow.

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Cherokee Chief John Ross, who led opposition to the forced move of his people to what is now Oklahoma, in 1790; historian George Bancroft in 1800; political cartoonist Herbert Block (Herblock) in 1909; novelists Thomas Wolfe in 1900 and Gore Vidal in 1925 (age 80); rock 'n' roll singer Chubby Checker in 1941 (age 64); singer/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham in 1947 (age 58); actor/singer Jack Wagner in 1959 (age 46); and actress Neve Campbell in 1973 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1922, Rebecca Felton, a Georgia Democrat, became the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

In 1932, Iraq won its independence after Britain ended its mandate over the Arab nation following 17 years of British rule.

In 1952, Britain successfully tested its first atomic bomb.

In 1955, the children's show "Captain Kangaroo" with Bob Keeshan in the title role was broadcast for the first time.

In 1967, folksinger and songwriter Woody Guthrie died at the age of 55.

In 1972, President Nixon and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko signed strategic arms limitation agreements, putting the first restrictions on the two countries' nuclear weapons.

In 1981, IRA prisoners at Maze Prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended a seven-month hunger strike in which 10 men died.

In 1989, troops loyal to Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega crushed a coup attempt by rebel mid-level officers. Noriega was held briefly by coup plotters and escaped unharmed.

In 1990, formerly communist East Germany merged with West Germany, ending 45 years of post-war division.

In 1991, House Speaker Thomas Foley announced that the House Bank would close because members had bounced thousands of checks against their accounts.

In 1992, William Gates III, the college-dropout founder of Microsoft Corp., headed Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $6.3 billion.

In 1993, fighting erupted in the streets of Moscow between pro- and anti-Yeltsin forces. Sixty-two people died in the violence that ended two days later when the rebel vice president and speaker of parliament surrendered.

In 1994, Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy resigned amid an investigation for accepting gifts from companies regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Also in 1994, Fernando Enrique Cardoso was elected president of Brazil.

In 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of charges that he murdered his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

Also in 1995, a bomb nearly killed the president of Macedonia, a relatively peaceful part of the former Yugoslavia.

In 1997, in response to Republican calls to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the fund-raising practices of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, Attorney. General Janet Reno said there was "no evidence whatsoever" that the president solicited campaign contributions in exchange for favorable treatment.

In 2001, amid rising concerns about the use of lethal substances by terrorists, Tommy Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, told a Senate committee that the government was planning to stockpile 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.

In 2002, fear escalated in the Washington area as five more people were killed over a 16-hour period in apparent random sniper shootings.

In 2003, the Labor Department announced 57,000 jobs had been created in September, the first job growth in eight months.

Also in 2003, President Bush rejected a poll that indicated Americans are wondering whether the cost of the Iraq war was worth it. "I don't make decisions based upon the polls," Bush told reporters. "I make decisions based upon what I think is important for the security of the American people."

In 2004, church congregations in India held special services after weekend bomb blasts and gun attacks killed at least 56 people and injured 100 others.

A thought for the day: American poet Emily Dickinson wrote,

"Behold this little Bane --

"The Boon of all alive --

"As common as it is known

"The name of it is Love."

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