The almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 6, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Nov. 6, the 311th day of 2008 with 55 to follow.

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 Scorpio. They include Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, in 1814; band leader and composer John Philip Sousa ("the March King") in 1854; Charles Henry Dow, co-founder of Dow Jones and Co. and first editor of The Wall Street Journal, in 1851; James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, in 1861; musician Ray Conniff in 1916; director Mike Nichols in 1931 (age 77); actress Sally Field in 1946 (age 62); singer/songwriter Glenn Frey in 1948 (age 60); TV journalist and California's first lady Maria Shriver in 1955 (age 53); actors Lance Kerwin in 1960 (age 48), Ethan Hawke in 1970 (age 38) and Rebecca Romijn in 1972 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th president of the United States.

In 1869, in the first formal intercollegiate football game, Rutgers beat Princeton, 6-4.

In 1917, the Bolshevik revolution began in Russia. Because it took place under the old czarist calendar, it is known as the October Revolution.

In 1921, the cult of Rudolph Valentino was launched with the release of his silent film "The Sheik," which despite negative reviews immediately caught the attention of women across the United States.

In 1952, the United States exploded the world's first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1968, Republican Richard Nixon was elected 37th president of the United States, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey.

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan was elected to a second term, winning 49 states.

In 1986, U.S. intelligence sources confirmed an earlier report that the United States had been secretly selling arms to Iran in an effort to secure the release of seven U.S. hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

Also in 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the landmark immigration reform bill, the first U.S. immigration law authorizing penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.

In 1990, a gunman opened fire as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the Revolution Day parade. Gorbachev wasn't injured.

In 1991, Ukrainian leaders signed the Soviet economic-union treaty at the Kremlin.

In 1995, numerous world leaders gathered in Jerusalem for the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In 2001, speaking at a Warsaw summit, U.S. President George Bush said for the first time that Osama bin Laden was trying to get chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

In 2002, the U.N. Security Council began considering the revised U.S. draft resolution that would declare Iraq in continuing "material breach" of previous measures and warn Baghdad of "serious consequences" if it failed to cooperate with weapons inspectors.

In 2005, at least 23 people were killed and some 230 injured when a tornado swept through parts of Indiana and Kentucky.

Also in 2005, U.S. gasoline prices fell an average of 23 cents per gallon to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was $2.43, about 20 cents lower than it had been a few days before Aug. 29 storm.

In 2006, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, unconscious since suffering a stroke in January, was taken out of intensive care at a Jerusalem hospital.

In 2007, a suicide bomber hurled himself at a delegation of lawmakers in a northern Afghan city, killing at least 50 people, including six members of parliament and several children, and injuring about 150 others, police said.

Also in 2007, military reports said the deaths of six U.S. troops in Iraq made 2007 the deadliest year of the conflict for American forces. The reported toll reached 851, two more than the record set in 2004.

A thought for the day: John Maynard Keynes said, "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking."

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