The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Saturday, Nov. 29, the 334th day of 2008 with 32 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Austrian physicist Christian Doppler in 1803; author Louisa May Alcott ("Little Women") in 1832; Chinese Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi in 1835; English electrical engineer John Fleming, who devised the radio tube-diode, in 1849; film choreographer Busby Berkeley in 1895; Irish novelist C.S. Lewis in 1898; actress Diane Ladd and former French President Jacques Chirac, both in 1932 (age 76); musician/composer Chuck Mangione in 1940 (age 68); comedians Garry Shandling in 1949 (age 59) and Howie Mandel in 1955 (age 53); filmmaker Joel Coen in 1954 (age 54); and actors Cathy Moriarty in 1960 (age 48), Kim Delaney in 1961 (age 47) and Andrew McCarthy in 1962 (age 46).


On this date in history:

In 1877, Thomas Edison demonstrated his invention, a hand-cranked phonograph that recorded sound on grooved metal cylinders. Edison shouted verses of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into the machine, which played back his voice.

In 1890, the first Army-Navy football game was played with Navy winning 24-0.

In 1929, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard Byrd and three crewmen became the first people to fly over the South Pole.

In 1947, despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine and the creation of the independent Jewish state of Israel.

In 1963, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson appointed the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of U.S. President John Kennedy.

In 1986, movie icon Cary Grant died of a stroke at the age of 82.

In 1988, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev told a landmark Supreme Soviet session that the country's system of government needed radical change.

In 1989, Romanian Olympic gymnastic hero Nadia Comaneci fled to Hungary. She eventually reached the United States.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution authorizing "all necessary means," including military force, against Iraq if it did not withdraw from Kuwait by Jan. 15, 1991.


In 1991, a dust storm in Coalinga, Calif., triggered a massive pileup by more than 250 vehicles on Interstate 5, killing 15 people and injuring more than 100.

In 1992, blacks killed four whites and wounded 17 more in an unusual attack at a South African golf club. The attack was thought to be the first by blacks against white civilians since the 1990 legalization of anti-apartheid groups.

In 1994, voters in Norway rejected a proposal to join the European Union.

In 1997, some 28,000 couples gathered in Washington's RFK Stadium for a wedding performed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church.

In 2001, George Harrison, lead guitarist and spiritual anchor of the Beatles, died of cancer. He was 58.

In 2003, Iraqi insurgents killed seven members of Spain's National Intelligence Center and two Japanese diplomats in a series of attacks apparently aimed at non-American foreigners.

Also in 2003, plans by the European Union's "big three" -- Britain, France and Germany -- to give the EU a military planning arm, independent of NATO, won backing from the rest of the bloc.

In 2005, Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals reported 1,086 bodies were recovered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


Also in 2005, a Vatican policy paper said men who recognize homosexuality as a "transitory problem" can be allowed to pursue ordination to become Roman Catholic priests.

In 2006, U.S. investigators heavily criticized security at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico after classified documents were removed from the building.

In 2007, an Islamic court found a British teacher working in Sudan guilty of inciting religious hatred by allowing her class of 7-year-olds to name a Teddy bear Mohammed." Gillian Gibbons, 54, was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation while thousands took to the streets, demanding her execution.

A thought for the day: Helmuth von Moltke wrote, "A war, even the most victorious, is a national misfortune."

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