The almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 4, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Oct. 4, the 278th day of 2008 with 88 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States, in 1822; Frederic Remington, painter of the American West, in 1861; journalist/author Damon Runyan in 1884; pioneer movie comedian Buster Keaton in 1895; actors Charlton Heston in 1924, Clifton Davis in 1945 (age 63), Susan Sarandon in 1946 (age 62), Armand Assante in 1949 (age 59) and Liev Schreiber in 1967 (age 41); authors Jackie Collins and Anne Rice, both in 1941 (age 67); and actresses Alicia Silverstone in 1976 (age 32) and Rachel Leigh Cook in 1979 (age 29).

On this date in history:

In 1777, American forces under Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British in a battle at Germantown, Pa.

In 1890, Mormons in Utah renounced polygamy.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik 1.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York on the first visit by a reigning pope to the United States.

In 1976, Earl Butz resigned as U.S. agriculture secretary with an apology for what he called the "gross indiscretion" of uttering a racist remark.

In 1989, Art Shell was hired by the Oakland Raiders as the first black head coach in the modern NFL.

In 1991, the United States and 23 other countries signed an agreement banning mineral and oil exploration in Antarctica for 50 years.

In 1992, as many as 250 people were killed when an El Al 747 cargo plane crashed into an apartment building on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Also in 1992, the Mozambique government and RENAMO rebels signed a historic peace accord, ending 16 years of civil war in the southeast African nation.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered several hundred more U.S. troops to Somalia one day after the deaths of three U.S. Marines in Mogadishu.

In 2001, a Siberian Airlines jetliner exploded and plunged into the Black Sea, killing all 64 passengers and 12 crew members. The United States said evidence showed the plane had been hit by a missile fired during a Ukrainian military training exercise.

And in 2001 sports, Rickey Henderson of the San Diego Padres scored his 2,246th run, breaking Ty Cobb's Major League Baseball record.

In 2002, the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, pleaded guilty to charges against him stemming from his alleged effort to detonate explosives hidden in his sneakers during a 2001 Paris-to-Miami flight.

In 2003, a suicide bomber killed herself and 19 others in an attack on a crowded restaurant in the northern Israeli port of Haifa.

In 2004, SpaceShipOne, the first, privately funded rocket to reach the edge of space, flew to an altitude above 62 miles over the California desert.

Also in 2004, Gordon Cooper, one of the first U.S. astronauts, who logged more than 225 hours in space, died at his California home. He was 77.

In 2006, U.S. President George Bush signed into law a bill allocating funds for a 700-mile bridge on the United States-Mexico border to help control immigration.

Also in 2006, Iraq suspended a brigade of 800 Baghdad policemen and arrested their commander on charges of aiding sectarian death squads, U.S. officials said.

In 2007, the U.S. Justice Department issued a secret, so-called "torture memo" endorsing harsh interrogation techniques, The New York Times reported. It said techniques were permissible by law so long as they didn't result in pain comparable to organ failure or death.

Also in 2007, at least 30 people died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said. All 22 aboard the plane died, as did eight others on the ground.

A thought for the day: author Damon Runyan wrote, "... always try to rub up against money, for if you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you."

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