The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Nov. 24, the 329th day of 2008 with 37 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 Sagittarius. They include Dutch philosopher Baruch Benedict de Spinoza in 1632; British novelist and clergyman Laurence Sterne in 1713; Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States, in 1784; gambler, frontier lawman and sports writer William "Bat" Masterson in 1853; painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in 1864; ragtime composer Scott Joplin in 1868; lecturer and author Dale Carnegie in 1888; pianist Teddy Wilson in 1912; actress Geraldine Fitzgerald in 1913; columnist William F. Buckley, in 1925; and actors Dwight Schultz in 1947 (age 61) and Stanley Livingston in 1950 (age 58).


On this date in history:

In 1863, Union Gen. U.S. Grant launched the U.S. Civil War battle of Chattanooga in Tennessee.

In 1869, women from 21 states met in Cleveland to organize the American Women Suffrage Association.

In 1874, Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made the farming of the Great Plains possible.

In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in a Dallas jail building two days after Kennedy was slain.

In 1971, a passenger ticketed as "D.B. Cooper" hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland, Ore., to Seattle, and parachuted south of Seattle with a $200,000 ransom collected from the airline. He reportedly was never heard from again.

In 1985, Arab commandos forced an Egypt Air jetliner to Malta and began shooting passengers, fatally wounding two. Fifty-seven other people died when Egyptian commandos stormed the jet.

In 1989, Czech reform politician Alexander Dubcek made his first public appearance in Prague since the Soviet invasion of 1968.

In 1993, the Brady bill handgun-control legislation cleared Congress. U.S. President Bill Clinton signed it into law on Nov. 30, 1993.


In 1995, Irish voters passed a referendum removing the constitutional ban on divorce.

In 2002, suspected Islamic terrorists stormed a famous Hindu temple in Kashmir, India, killing seven people and wounding 30 others.

In 2003, Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, the winningest left-hander in major league baseball history, died at the age of 82.

In 2004, Brazilian energy officials said the South American country will begin enriching uranium with the full consent of the United Nations.

In 2005, a suicide car bomber struck at an Iraqi hospital where U.S. soldiers were giving away toys, killing at least 31 people, mostly women and children. Nearly two dozen others died in further violence during the day in Iraq.

In 2006, a car bomb killed at least 22 people in Talafar, Iraq, running the death toll in a 24-hour rash of Baghdad bombings to 202.

In 2007, a brigade of 5,000 U.S. troops left Diyala Province, considered the first significant pullback of American troops from Iraq, the U.S. military said.

Also in 2007, Kevin Rudd took over as Australian prime minister, defeating John Howard who was seeking a fifth term after 11 years in office.

A thought for the day: Dutch philosopher Baruch Benedict de Spinoza said, "Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."


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