The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2005 with 75 to follow.

The moon is full. The morning stars are Mars and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Venus 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; actress Rita Hayworth in 1918; actor Tom Poston in 1927 (age 78); actor Montgomery Clift in 1920; newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin in 1930 (age 75); daredevil Robert "Evel" Knievel in 1938 (age 67) actors Michael McKean in 1940 (age 65), and Margot Kidder and George Wendt, both in 1948 (age 57); and former astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, in 1956 (age 49); rapper Eminem in 1972 (age 33).


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 1973, the Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries 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 United States in December causing a serious energy crisis.

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. 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 the 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.


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 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 and accusing him of 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 2001 the anthrax scare continued as Congress began closing for security sweeps after 321 staffers and police tested positive for exposure to anthrax.

In 2003, the U.S. hostile fire death toll in the Iraqi war reached 100 since President Bush announced the end of major combat in May.

In 2004, Pierre Salinger, President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later a television network correspondent, died of heart failure in France at the age of 79.


Also in 2004, Brazil began its controversial practice of allowing its air force to shoot down planes suspected of smuggling drugs.

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


Today is Tuesday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2005 with 74 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include novelist Fannie Hurst in 1889; former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1919; former Republican Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, in 1921 (age 84); Greek actress Melina Mercouri in 1925; rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry in 1926 (age 79); actors George C. Scott in 1927 and Peter Boyle in 1933 (age 72); Lee Harvey Oswald, assumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in 1939; former pro football star and coach Mike Ditka in 1939 (age 66); actor Joe Morton in 1947 (age 58); actress Pam Dawber in 1951 (age 54); actor Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1960 (age 45); and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and actress Erin Moran ("Happy Days"), both in 1961 (age 44).


On this date in history:

In 1776, the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was settled. Dubbed the "Mason-Dixon" line, it became the unofficial boundary between North and South.

In 1898, the United States took control of Puerto Rico only one year after Spain had granted self-rule to the Caribbean nation.

In 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, was established.

In 1931, Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, died in West Orange, N.J., at the age of 84.

In 1959, the Soviet Union announced an unmanned space vehicle had taken the first pictures of the far side of the moon.

In 1974, the jury in the Watergate cover-up trial heard a tape recording in which President Nixon told aide John Dean to try to stop the Watergate burglary investigation before it implicated White House personnel.

In 1984, President Reagan ordered an investigation of a CIA handbook for Nicaraguan rebels that suggested assassination as a political tactic.

In 1990, Iraq, pinched by economic sanctions, offered to sell oil to anyone at half the going price.

In 1991, Israel and the Soviet Union agreed to renew full diplomatic relations for the first time since 1967.

Also in 1991, the United States and Soviet Union formally invited Israeli and Arab leaders to a conference in Spain to initiate direct bilateral peace talks.


In 1992, numerous civilians were killed or wounded when Serbian forces unleashed a citywide artillery barrage on Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 1996, the Democratic National Committee halted fundraising efforts by finance vice-chairman John Huang and returned a contribution from a South Korean business group. Huang also solicited contributions from wealthy Indonesians, one of whom reportedly bragged about his influence in Washington.

In 2001, as anthrax incidents continued, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for sending anthrax-laden mail which he called a terrorist act.

In 2002, North Korea revealed it was working on a secret nuclear weapons program and U.S. intelligence officials concluded that Pakistan was a major supplier of critical equipment for it.

Also in 2002, Continental Airlines fired a pilot who federal officials say tested positive for alcohol after he was removed from a flight awaiting takeoff in Houston.

In 2003, a published report said British authorities foiled a plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Also in 2003, although homemaking guru Martha Stewart faced trial on illegal stock trading, sales of her Everyday brand were described as "great."


In 2004, in perhaps the first concrete development in the 2008 presidential election campaign, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, younger brother of the president, said he was not running for the White House.

Also in 2004, exhumation orders were issued for 42 bodies in Sonthofen, Germany, where a hospital orderly admitted to giving lethal injections to 16 patients.

A thought for the day: French author George Sand (Mme. Amandine Aurore Lucile Dudevant) said, "Simplicity is the essence of the great, the true and the beautiful in art."


Today is Wednesday, Oct. 19, the 292nd day of 2005 with 73 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include English physician and scholar Thomas Browne in 1605; abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay in 1810; historian and city planner Lewis Mumford in 1895; actress LaWanda Page ("Sanford and Son") in 1920; newspaper columnist Jack Anderson in 1922 (age 83); English spy novelist John Le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell, in 1931 (age 74); pop artist Peter Max in 1937 (age 68); actor John Lithgow and feminist Patricia Ireland, both in 1945 (age 60); former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield in 1962 (age 43) and Amy Carter, daughter of former President Carter, in 1967 (age 38).


On this date in history:

In 1781, Britain's Lord Cornwallis surrendered with more than 7,000 troops to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, Va., effectively ending the American War of Independence.

In 1812, Napoleon's beaten French army began its long, disastrous retreat from Moscow.

In 1982, carmaker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles and charged in a $24 million cocaine scheme aimed at salvaging his bankrupt sports car company. He was tried and acquitted.

In 1987, the New York stock market suffered its biggest ever setback, with the bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average nose-diving 508 points in one session.

In 1993, a U.N. oil-and-arms embargo against Haiti was reinstated in an effort to return the exiled Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president of Haiti.

In 1994, more than 20 people were killed in the terrorist bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel. Islamic militants claimed responsibility.

In 2000, independent counsel Robert Ray said in his final report about the White House travel office scandal dubbed "Travelgate" that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton gave "factually false" sworn testimony. But, he said, there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

In 2002, after four days of inactivity, the Washington area sniper reappeared and seriously wounded a man in a restaurant parking lot, triggering a massive response from police forces already on high alert.


In 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims packed into St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, the last formal step to sainthood.

In 2004, a second teenager was charged with plotting a mass murder at Marshfield High School in Massachusetts to emulate the 1999 Columbine massacre.

Also in 2004, a Pentagon survey of U.S. Army reservists indicated they had increasing doubts about their units' war readiness and less enthusiasm for re-enlisting.

A thought for the day: Greek playwright Euripides wrote, "Do not consider painful what is good for you."


Today is Thursday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2005 with 72 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 English astronomer and architect Christopher Wren in 1632; French poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1854; James Robert Mann, Illinois congressman and author of the "White Slave Traffic Act," also known as the "Mann Act," in 1856; educator John Dewey in 1859; composer Charles Ives in 1874; actor Bela Lugosi ("Dracula") in 1882; singer/pianist/composer Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton in 1889; mystery writer Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay) in 1905; TV personality Arlene Francis in 1908; country singer Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones in 1913; actor Herschel Bernardi in 1922; newspaper columnist Art Buchwald in 1925 (age 80); psychologist Joyce Brothers in 1928 (age 77); former New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle in 1931; actors William Christopher ("M*A*S*H") in 1932 (age 73) and Jerry Orbach in 1935; and rock singer Tom Petty in 1953 (age 52).


On this date in history:

In 1818, the United States and Britain agreed to establish the 49th parallel as the official boundary between the United States and Canada.

In 1918, Germany accepted U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's terms to end World War I.

In 1944, Gen. Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippines Islands when he landed with American forces during World War II.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened public hearings into communist influence in Hollywood.

In 1973, President Nixon fired special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.

In 1982, the world's worst soccer disaster occurred in Moscow when 340 fans were crushed to death in an open staircase during a game between Soviet and Dutch players.

In 1990, the rap group 2 Live Crew was acquitted in Miami of obscenity charges arising from a performance of selections from the album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be."

In 1992, one of Europe's leading environmentalists, Germany's Greens Party founder Petra Kelly, was found shot to death by her companion, Gert Bastian, who then committed suicide.

In 1994, Hollywood heavyweight Burt Lancaster died at the age of 80.


In 2000, a former U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty to joining in a terrorist plot against the United States, linking Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2001, anthrax scares continued across the world as reports of letters with white powder possibly containing anthrax -- nearly all false alarms so far - were found. Work resumed in Washington where an anthrax discovery had temporarily closed Congress.

In 2002, showing its displeasure with North Korea for restarting its nuclear program, the United States was reported to be considering cutting off vital fuel oil supplies to that country.

In 2003, The London Mirror said that British Princess Diana claimed there was a plot to kill her in a car crash in a handwritten letter 10 months before she died in an auto accident.

In 2004, Margaret Hassan, chief of operations for the British-based CARE charity, was kidnapped on her way to work in Iraq by unknown armed militants. CARE suspended its work in Iraq soon after.

Also in 2004, retired Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's sixth president after winning the country's first direct elections for head of state.


A thought for the day: American Red Cross founder Clara Barton said, "The surest test of discipline is its absence."


Today is Friday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2005 with 71 to follow.

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

Those born this date are under the sign of Libra. They include English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1772; Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prize, in 1833; dancer/choreographer Ted Shawn in 1891; conductor Georg Solti in 1912; jazz trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie, in 1917; former pitcher Whitey Ford in 1928 (age 77); author Ursula K. LeGuin in 1929 (age 76); and actress-author Carrie Fisher in 1956 (age 49).

On this date in history:

In 1805, in one of history's greatest naval battles, the British fleet under Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated the combined French-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar off the coast of Spain.

In 1879, after 14 months of experiments, Thomas Edison invented the first practical electric incandescent lamp.


In 1908, The Saturday Evening Post magazine carried an ad for a brand new product: a two-sided phonograph record.

In 1950, Chinese troops occupied Tibet.

In 1959, rocket designer Wernher von Braun and his team were transferred from the Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In 1987, the Senate rejected Judge Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court by the biggest margin in history, 58-42.

In 1990, gunmen stormed the home of a key supporter of Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun, killing him, his wife and their two sons.

In 1991, Beirut University College professor Jesse Turner, a hostage since January 1987, was released by his captors in Lebanon.

In 1992, former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy became the subject of the movie "JFK," died at 71.

Also in 1992, New York protesters upset with Sinead O'Connor for ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II on "Saturday Night Live" used a steamroller to crush dozens of the Irish singer's CDs, records and tapes.


In 1994, Rosario Ames, wife of confessed spy Aldrich Ames, was sentenced to 63 months in prison for her role in collaborating with her husband.

In 1996, the Dow Jones Index of 30 major stocks topped the 6,000 mark for the first time.

In 2003, pro basketball star Kobe Bryant was ordered to stand trial in Colorado on a rape charge involving a 19-year-old hotel worker.

In 2004, the most senior soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

A thought for the day: Italian goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini wrote in his autobiography, "One can pass on responsibility, but not the discretion that goes with it."


Today is Saturday, Oct. 22, the 295th day of 2005 with 70 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in 1811; actresses Sarah Bernhardt in 1844 and Joan Fontaine in 1917 (age 88); English author Doris Lessing in 1919 (age 86); psychologist and LSD advocate Timothy Leary in 1920; artist Robert Rauschenberg in 1925 (age 80); actors Derek Jacobi and Christopher Lloyd, both in 1938 (age 67), Annette Funicello in 1942 (age 63), Catherine Deneuve in 1943 (age 62), and Jeff Goldblum in 1952 (age 53); and champion skater Brian Boitano in 1963 (age 42).


On this date in history:

In 1797, the first parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who dropped from a height of about 6,500 feet over a Paris park.

In 1836, Gen. Sam Houston was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1938, inventor Charles Carlson produced the first dry, or xerographic, copy, but had trouble attracting investors.

In 1962, President Kennedy announced that Soviet missiles had been deployed in Cuba and ordered a blockade of the island.

In 1966, The Supremes became the first all-female group to score a No. 1 album, with "Supremes a Go-Go."

In 1978, Pope John Paul II was installed as pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1990, President Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990, saying it would lead to a quota system.

In 1991, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir warned that Israel would refuse to negotiate with any Palestinians who claimed alliance to the PLO.

In 1992, pioneer sportscaster Red Barber died at age 84.

In 2001, anthrax spores were found in a mail-opening machine serving the White House. Preliminary tests on 120 workers who sort mail for the executive mansion were negative.


Also in 2001, the Pentagon announced nearly 200 U.S. jets struck Taliban and al-Qaida communications facilities, barracks and training camps and disputed Taliban claims that 100 civilians died when a bomb hit a hospital in western Afghanistan.

Also in 2001, an estimated 500 people were killed when the Nigerian army attacked villages throughout the eastern state of Benue.

In 2003, a poll showed 59 percent of Palestinians wanted attacks against Israel to continue even if Israel leaves the West Bank and Gaza.

In 2004, British hostage Margaret Hassan, the kidnapped head of CARE International operations in Iraq, pleaded with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to save her life by pulling troops out of Iraq.

Also in 2004, rescuers confirmed 64 dead following an explosion in a central China coal mine. Eighty-four miners were missing in the toxic gas-filled shaft.

A thought for the day: of the existence of God, Clarence Darrow said, "I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure."


Today is Sunday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 2005 with 69 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include French chef Nicholas Appert, inventor of the canning process, in 1752; Adlai E. Stevenson, vice president under Grover Cleveland from 1893-1897, in 1835; pioneering college football coach John Heisman in 1869; William Coolidge, inventor of the X-ray tube, in 1873; Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, in 1906; former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson in 1925; pro golfer Juan "Chi Chi" Rodriquez in 1934 (age 71); Brazilian soccer star Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) in 1940 (age 65); author Michael Crichton in 1942 (age 63); filmmaker Ang Lee in 1954 (age 51); singers Dwight Yoakum in 1956 (age 49) and "Weird Al" Yankovic in 1959 (age 46); and football players Doug Flutie and Mike Tomczak, both in 1962 (age 43).

On this date in history:

In 1707, the British Parliament met for the first time.

In 1942, the British Eighth Army launched an offensive at El Alamein in Egypt, a World War II battle that eventually swept the Germans out of North Africa.


In 1945, Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player hired by a major league team, was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and sent to their Montreal farm team.

In 1972, earthquakes killed more than 10,000 people in Nicaragua.

In 1983, suicide bomb attacks on American and French peacekeeping troops in Beirut killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French soldiers.

In 1989, Hungary formally declared an end to 40 years of communist rule and proclaimed itself a republic, setting the stage for creation of Western-style democracy in the East Bloc state.

In 1990, Iraq released 64 British hostages.

In 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays won baseball's World Series for the second year in a row.

In 1995, the Defense Department announced it was ending a program designed to help minority-owned firms secure government contracts.

In 1998, after nine days of tense negotiations at the Wye Conference Center in Queenstown, Md., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed an agreement to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.

Also in 1998, Dr. Barnett Slepian, an obstetrician who performed abortions, was shot to death by a sniper who fired a bullet through a widow of Slepian's home in Amherst, N.Y.


In 2001, U.S.-led forces maintained their intense pressure on the Taliban, pounding positions around the Afghan capitol of Kabul and the militia's southern stronghold of Kandahar for the 17th consecutive day.

In 2002, a group of 20 Chechen gunmen stormed a Moscow theater, taking hostage more than 700 members of the audience, actors, and theater staff, and demanding an end to the war in the separatist republic.

Also in 2002, authorities say the sniper who has terrorized the Washington region for the past three weeks -- killing 10 people and wounding three others -- has demanded $10 million in cash and threatened to begin attacking children of the area if demands are not met.

In 2003, Congress passed a bill banning late-term abortions, a procedure critics refer to as partial-birth abortions.

In 2004, with the U.S. presidential election less than two weeks away, a Time survey had President George W. Bush holding a 5-point lead over Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Also in 2004, insurgents struck at three minibuses carrying U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers, reportedly killing about 50 of them.

A thought for the day: The New Testament says, "Charity shall cover a multitude of sins."

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