The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, Oct. 27, the 300th day of 2006 with 65 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus in 1466; English explorer Capt. James Cook in 1728; Italian violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini in 1782; Isaac Singer, developer of the first practical home sewing machine, in 1811; Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, in 1858; etiquette arbiter Emily Post in 1872; longtime "Tonight Show" producer/director Fred De Cordova in 1910; Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in 1914; actresses Nanette Fabray in 1920 (age 86) and Ruby Dee in 1924 (age 82); pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in 1923; former Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1925 (age 81); pop pianist Floyd Cramer in 1933; comedian John Cleese in 1939 (age 67); filmmaker Ivan Reitman in 1946 (age 60); actors Carrie Snodgress in 1945, Roberto Benigni ("Life Is Beautiful") in 1952 (age 54), and Robert Picardo ("Star Trek: Voyager") in 1953 (age 53), and singer Simon LeBon in 1958 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1659, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, were executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their outlawed religious beliefs.

In 1787, a New York newspaper published the first of 77 essays explaining the new Constitution and urging its ratification, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay and later combined as "The Federalist Papers."

In 1795, a treaty with Spain settled Florida's northern boundary and gave navigation rights on the Mississippi River to the United States.

In 1904, the first rapid transit subway system in America opened in New York City.

In 1946, the travel show "Geographically Speaking," sponsored by Bristol-Myers, became the first television program with a commercial sponsor.

In 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were divorced, reportedly after a blowup over her famous "skirt scene" in "The Seven Year Itch," in which a blast of air lifts her skirt.

In 1981, the National Labor Relations Board withdrew recognition of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization for an illegal strike by its members.


In 1990, CBS founder William S. Paley died at age 89. And rumba king Xavier Cugat died at 90.

In 1991, Poland had its first fully free parliamentary elections.

In 1992, Israeli tanks rolled into Lebanon as air force jets staged renewed raids in an effort to crush Muslim fundamentalist guerrillas.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton presented Congress with the administration's new plan for healthcare reform in a ceremony at the Capitol.

Also in 1993, Southern California was hit by dozens of brush fires -- the worst in six years. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands of people were forced to flee the flames.

In 1994, the U.S. Justice Department announced that the U.S. prison population topped the 1 million mark for the first time.

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch, one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded, began its four-day siege of Central America, causing at least 10,000 deaths.

In 2003, as many as 40 civilians and U.S. soldiers were killed in a flurry of terrorist bombings in Baghdad. Among the targets was the 3-story headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross.


In 2004, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat was reported to be dying. A Palestinian minister said doctors were frantically trying to save the 75-year-old Mideast leader's life.

In 2005, after weeks of blistering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans about her qualifications, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also in 2005, ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said its earnings were up 75 percent during the third quarter on higher energy prices before and after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

A thought for the day: President Theodore Roosevelt said, "The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours if that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight."

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