The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Oct. 27, the 301st day of 2008 with 65 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 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 88) and Ruby Dee in 1924 (age 84); pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in 1923; former Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1925 (age 83); pop pianist Floyd Cramer in 1933; comedian John Cleese in 1939 (age 69); filmmaker Ivan Reitman in 1946 (age 62); actors Carrie Snodgress in 1946, Roberto Benigni ("Life Is Beautiful") in 1952 (age 56), and Robert Picardo ("Star Trek: Voyager") in 1953 (age 55) and singer Simon Le Bon in 1958 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1659, William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who left 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 divorced, reportedly after a blowup over her famous 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 band leader/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 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.

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 headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In 2006, a former General Services Administration official was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for helping lobbyist Jack Abramoff. David Safavian told the judge he didn't realize that passing on inside information about properties controlled by the GSA was wrong.


In 2007, Russian observers predicted Vladimir Putin would seek the post of prime minister when he steps down from the presidency. Putin said earlier he wouldn't seek a third term as president.

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

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