The almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 13, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Oct. 13, the 287th day of 2008 with 79 to follow.

This is Columbus Day in the United States.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include American Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher in 1754; actress Lillie Langtry in 1853; actor Cornel Wilde in 1915; puppeteer Burr Tillstrom in 1917; actor/singer Yves Montand in 1921; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1925 (age 83); comedian Lenny Bruce also in 1925; Jesse L. Brown, the first black American naval aviator, in 1926; actress Melinda Dillon in 1939 (age 69); singer/songwriter Paul Simon in 1941 (age 67); rocker Sammy Hagar in 1947 (age 61); Chris Carter, creator of "The X-Files," in 1956 (age 52); entertainer Marie Osmond in 1959 (age 49); actress Kelly Preston in 1962 (age 46); and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1969 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 54 AD, the Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina.

In 1775, the Continental Congress ordered construction of America's first naval fleet.

In 1792, the cornerstone to the White House was laid. It would be November 1800 before the first presidential family (that of John Adams) moved in.

In 1903, the Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first World Series, five games to three.

In 1943, conquered by the Allies, Italy declared war on Germany, its former partner.

In 1972, more than 170 people were killed when a Soviet airliner crashed near the Moscow airport.

In 1977, four Palestinians hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in an unsuccessful attempt to force release of 11 imprisoned members of German terrorists called the Red Army Faction.

In 1987, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize -- the first winner from Central America.

In 1990, Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun ended his two-year mutiny, ordered his forces to surrender, and sought refuge in the French Embassy in Beirut after Syrian-backed Lebanese government troops attacked his headquarters.

In 1991, the Group of Seven industrialized democracies agreed to formulate a Soviet economic reform program with Moscow.

In 1992, the first pig liver transplant patient died in a Los Angeles hospital 30 hours after surgery and just hours before she was to get a human organ.

In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to reinstate an oil and arms embargo against Haiti after its military leaders refused to step down as promised.

In 1994, two months after the Irish Republican Army announced a cease-fire. Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland did the same.

In 1999, the U.S. Senate rejected a treaty signed by the United States that banned all underground nuclear testing. Despite that, U.S. President Bill Clinton pledged to abide by the treaty's provisions.

In 2003 sports, jockey Bill Shoemaker, one of horse racing's most renowned figures who won nearly 9,000 races, died at his home in San Marino, Calif. He was 72.

In 2004, investigators reported unearthing a mass grave in northern Iraq containing hundreds of bodies of women and children believed killed in the 1980s.

In 2005, about 128 people were killed in clashes between Islamic militants and law enforcement officers in the southern Russian town of Nalchik.

In 2006, Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, dubbed the "banker to the poor," won the Nobel Peace Prize for grassroots efforts to lift millions out of poverty.

Also in 2006, U.S. Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio, the only congressman charged in the Washington lobbying scandal, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a deal calling for a 27-month prison sentence.

In 2007, Russia said it favors multi-national negotiations over unilateral sanctions against Iran in their nuclear dispute. The United States wants tougher penalties in an effort to persuade Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program.

A thought for the day: French playwright Pierre Corneille said, "To win without risk is to triumph without glory."

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