Today is Sunday, Oct. 5, the 279th day of 2008 with 87 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 French philosopher Denis Diderot in 1713; Chester A. Arthur, 21st president of the United States, in 1829; rocket pioneer Robert Goddard in 1882; restaurant entrepreneur Ray Kroc (McDonald's) and comic Larry Fine of The Three Stooges (the one with the wild wavy hair) in 1902; actor Donald Pleasence in 1919; political activist and defrocked priest Philip Berrigan in 1923; actress Glynis Johns in 1923 (age 85); actor/comedian Bill Dana in 1924 (age 84); Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic, in 1936 (age 72); rock singer/songwriter Steve Miller in 1943 (age 65); actress Karen Allen in 1951 (age 57); Irish rock musician Bob Geldof, organizer of the 1985 Live Aid famine relief concert, in 1951 (age 57); race car driver Michael Andretti in 1962 (age 46) and actress Kate Winslet in 1975 (age 33).
On this date in history:
In 1813, the Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was killed while fighting on the side of the British during the War of 1812.
In 1918, Germany's Hindenburg Line was broken as World War I neared an end.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI made an unprecedented 14-hour visit to New York to plead for world peace before the United Nations.
In 1973, Egypt and Syria, hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
In 1975, U.S. Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, charged that the CIA tried to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro during the administrations of three U.S. presidents.
In 1986, former U.S. Marine Eugene Hasenfus was captured after a plane carrying arms for the Nicaraguan rebels was shot down over Nicaragua. Nicaragua's Sandinista government later convicted him but then granted a pardon.
In 1989, TV evangelist Jim Bakker was convicted on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for fleecing his PTL flock.
Also in 1989, the Dalai Lama, exiled god-king of Tibet, won the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent efforts to free his homeland from China.
In 1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, responding to unilateral U.S. action, announced cuts in nuclear weapons that would reduce the number of strategic warheads to 5,000 in seven years.
In 1992, the last of the three pathologists who conducted the autopsy on U.S. President John Kennedy broke his silence and dismissed the conspiracy theories.
In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the resumption in nuclear testing after China broke the informal moratorium and exploded a nuclear device beneath its western desert.
In 1994, South African President Nelson Mandela ended two days of talks with U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House.
Also in 1994, 53 members of a secretive religious cult were found dead -- the victims of murder or suicide -- over a two-day period in Switzerland and in Quebec, Canada.
In 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the warring parties in Bosnia had agreed to a cease-fire.
In 1999, MCI WorldCom Inc. announced that it had agreed to buy the Sprint Corp. in a $129 billion deal that would be the largest corporate acquisition ever at that point.
In 2000, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavians overthrew the Belgrade government, causing Slobodan Milosevic, the defeated presidential incumbent, to resign, ending 13 years of rule.
In 2001, 1,000 U.S. troops were sent to Uzbekistan, a part of the former Soviet Union.
Also in 2001, Robert Stevens, photo editor for America media Inc. of Boca Raton Fla., publisher of the National Enquirer and other tabloids, died after being infected with anthrax.
And in 2001 sports, Barry Bonds hit his 71st home run, most by a player in one season, breaking Mark McGwire's 1998 Major League Baseball record. The San Francisco Giants slugger finished the season with 73 homers.
In 2003, in retaliation to a suicide bombing at a Haifa restaurant the previous day, Israeli planes struck a suspected terrorist training camp in Syria near Damascus.
In 2004, British regulators suspended production of flu vaccine at the Liverpool plant of Chiron, a U.S. company, because of contamination. The action resulted in about a 50-percent reduction in vaccine available for the United States.
In 2005, scientists announced that a form of bird flu that jumped directly to humans was the real cause of a 1918 pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
In 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee opened an investigation into the conduct of former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned after reports of sexually explicit e-mail exchanges with an underage male page surfaced.
In 2007, U.S. President Bush said the United States "does not torture people" and adheres "to U.S. law and our international obligations." He was commenting on an earlier secret government report that reportedly endorsed harsh interrogation techniques.
Also in 2007, U.S. sprinter Marion Jones, who won five medals during the 2000 Olympic Games, three of them gold, admitted taking steroids to enhance her track performance. She drew a two-year ban and forfeiture of medals on her guilty plea to lying to federal investigators.
A thought for the day: Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) said: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."