The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 2, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2006 with 59 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1734; Marie Antoinette, queen of France, in 1755; U.S. President James Polk in 1795; U.S. President Warren G. Harding in 1865; astronomer Harlow Shapley, a pioneer in studies of the Milky Way, in 1885; trumpeter Bunny Berigan in 1908; actors Burt Lancaster in 1913 and Ray Walston in 1914; Australian tennis player Ken Rosewall in 1934 (age 72); columnist, commentator and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan in 1938 (age 68); author Shere Hite and actress Stefanie Powers, both in 1942 (age 64); actress Alfre Woodard in 1953 (age 53); and singer k.d. lang in 1961 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states of the union.

In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour proposed a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Israel became a reality 31 years later.

In 1920, in the first significant news broadcast, KDKA in Pittsburgh reported the U.S. presidential election results for Warren G. Harding and James Cox.

In 1947, Howard Hughes built and piloted the world's largest airplane, the 200-ton flying boat Spruce Goose, on its only flight, at Long Beach, Calif. The Goose remained airborne for just less than 1 mile.

In 1962, U.S. President John Kennedy announced that Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled.

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill establishing a national holiday to mark the birthday anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1986, U.S. hostage David Jacobsen was released in Beirut after 17 months. Later disclosures showed his freedom was a trade for U.S. arms sent to Iran.

In 1992, legendary filmmaker Hal Roach died at age 100. He was credited with discovering the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy and producing the "Our Gang" comedies.

Also in 1992, HIV-infected Earvin "Magic" Johnson retired from professional basketball "for good."

In 1993, a new series of wildfires swept along the Southern California coast, destroying more than 300 homes in the exclusive community of Malibu.

In 1995, the Justice Department indicted the Japanese-owned Daiwa Bank on conspiracy and fraud charges linked to an illegal bond-trading scheme.

In 1996, Britain announced a plan to ban ownership of large-caliber handguns.

In 1997, French truck drivers began a weeklong strike, blockading major roads and ports.

In 2000, five days before the election, George W. Bush, the Republican nominee for president, admitted he had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1976 near the family home in Maine.

In 2001, the Labor Department announced that October unemployment had jumped to 5.4 percent, highest in five years and that 415,000 non-farm jobs had been lost, highest monthly figure since 1980.

In 2002, new violence flared in Indian-administered Kashmir leaving several people dead, including a politician killed when his motorcade was ambushed.

In 2003, at least 13 U.S. soldiers were killed and about 20 wounded in Iraq when a missile downed a helicopter carrying members of the 82nd Airborne Division near Fallujah.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush was re-elected in a close race with Democrat John Kerry.

Also in 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who received death threats because of his film about violence against Islamic women, was slain as he rode his bicycle through an Amsterdam park.

In 2005, thousands of protesters gathered in Argentina near the site of an upcoming summit to denounce the imminent arrival of U.S. President Bush.

Also in 2005, the homeless population of South Florida soared with heavy rains collapsing roofs of more than 50,000 structures damaged by Hurricane Wilma.

A thought for the day: after winning the Masters tournament, golf "wunderkind" Tiger Woods said, "I'm definitely not a pioneer. That's for people like Jackie Robinson and Lee Elder. I'm just a product of their hard work."

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