The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Dec. 1, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Dec. 1, the 335th day of 2005 with 30 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include detective novelist Rex Stout in 1886; former United Mine Workers president W.A. "Tony" Boyle in 1904; actress Mary Martin in 1913; comedian-filmmaker Woody Allen and soul singer Lou Rawls, both in 1935 (age 70); pro golfer Lee Trevino in 1939 (age 66); comedian Richard Pryor in 1940 (age 65); singer/actress Bette Midler in 1945 (age 60); actor Treat Williams in 1952 (age 53); and model Carol Alt in 1960 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1891, the game of basketball was invented when James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., put peach baskets at the opposite ends of the gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them.

In 1903, the world's first drive-in gasoline station opened for business in Pittsburgh.

In 1917, the Rev. Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town near Omaha, Neb.

In 1943, ending a "Big Three" meeting in Tehran, President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian Premier Josef Stalin pledged a concerted effort to defeat Nazi Germany.

In 1953, the first Playboy magazine was published. Marilyn Monroe was on the cover.

In 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus. The event has been called the birth of the modern civil rights movement.

In 1989, Soviet President Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II met in the Vatican City. Afterward, they announced an agreement to establish diplomatic ties and Gorbachev renounced more than 70 years of oppression of religion in the U.S.S.R.

In 1990, Iraq agreed to President Bush's call for diplomatic missions to seek a solution to the Gulf crisis, but insisted the Arab-Israeli dispute be a part of any bargain.

In 1991, voters in Soviet republic of Ukraine overwhelmingly voted for independence.

In 1992, the Senate Ethics Committee started an investigation into allegations Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., sexually harassed women who worked for him.

In 1996, an oil tanker sunk by the Japanese in 1941 was located off the coast of California, with its cargo intact.

In 1997, it was announced that Walt Disney Co. would donate $25 million to Los Angeles for the construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

In 2000, with the presidential election still undecided, Democrats and Republicans wound up with a 50-50 split in the Senate.

In 2001, as the United States and Israel pressured Yasser Arafat to crack down on Palestinian terrorist attacks, three suicide bombers struck Israelis the first two days of December, killing 29 people.

In 2003, Thailand officials said illegal drug traffic had been nearly eradicated, but that the fight would continue until Thailand is completely drug free.

Also in 2003, Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president detained in The Hague on war crimes charges, said he would return to Serbian politics on the Dec. 28 legislative ballot.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department endorsed a Senate investigation into possible fraud in the U.N. oil-for-food program.

Also in 2004, one dozen people died in a prison riot and shootouts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

And, political chaos in Ukraine entered its 10th day as parliament voted to fire Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and form an interim government.

A thought for the day: it was Ezra Pound who said, "Literature is news that stays news."

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