The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 20, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2005 with 41 to follow.

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

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; singer/actress Judy Canova in 1916; actress Gene Tierney in 1920; U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1925; actresses Kaye Ballard in 1926 (age 79) and Estelle Parsons in 1927 (age 78); actor/TV game show host Richard Dawson in 1932 (age 73); comedian Dick Smothers in 1939 (age 66); and actors Veronica Hamel in 1943 (age 62), Richard Masur in 1948 (age 57), Bo Derek in 1956 (age 49), Sean Young in 1959 (age 46) and Ming-Na ("ER") in 1967 (age 38).

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.

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 if necessary.

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.

In 2003, 27 people were reported killed in Istanbul in two blasts that targeted a U.K.-based bank and the British consulate. Another 400 were wounded.

Also in 2003, Michael Jackson was released on bail after being booked on charges he molested a 12-year-old boy who had visited the pop superstar at his California ranch.

In 2004, House Republicans blocked a deal on a bill that would create a cabinet-level director of national intelligence to oversee non-military agencies, including the CIA.

Also in 2004, Palestinians began a formal search for a successor to Yasser Arafat. The next president of the Palestinian Authority was scheduled to be chosen in a Jan. 9 election.

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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