The almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2008 with 31 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 Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in 1508; Irish satirist Jonathan Swift in 1667; novelist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) in 1835; British statesman Winston Churchill in 1874; actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in 1918 (age 90); Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1924; actor Richard Crenna in 1926; actor Robert Guillaume in 1927 (age 81); producer/TV music show host Dick Clark in 1929 (age 79); Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy in 1930 (age 78); 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in 1936; filmmaker Ridley Scott in 1937 (age 71); playwright David Mamet in 1947 (age 61); singer/actor Mandy Patinkin in 1952 (age 56); rock singer Billy Idol in 1955 (age 53); and actor Ben Stiller in 1965 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1731, a series of earthquakes struck China. More than 100,000 people died.

In 1782, preliminary peace articles formally ending the American Revolutionary War were signed in Paris.

In 1913, Charles Chaplin made his screen debut in Mack Sennett's short film "Making A Living."

In 1939, the Russo-Finnish War started after the Soviet Union failed to obtain territorial concessions from Finland.

In 1975, Israel pulled its forces out of a 93-mile-long corridor along the Gulf of Suez as part of an interim peace agreement with Egypt.

In 1988, the Soviet Union stopped jamming broadcasts of Radio Free Europe for the first time in 30 years.

In 1989, rebels launched a fifth major coup attempt against Philippine President Corazon Aquino.

Also in 1989, Czechoslovakia announced an end to travel restrictions and said it planned to dismantle some of the fortifications along the Austrian border.

In 1990, the three Baltic republics -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- had an historic joint parliamentary session to plot their common course.

In 1997, the government of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic resigned after Klaus's Civic Democratic Party was accused of accepting contributions from foreign sources.


In 2003, the World Health Organization unveiled a historic plan to treat 3 million impoverished AIDS sufferers by the end of 2005.

In 2004, flash floods and landslides killed more than 300 people in the storm-swept Philippines.

Also in 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross charged that the U.S. military intentionally abused prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

And, Tom Ridge, the United States' first Homeland Security secretary announced his resignation.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush unveiled his vision of victory in Iraq for the American people and rejected calls for a timetable for withdrawal of troops.

Also in 2005, the world's first partial-face transplant was conducted in France where a woman was given a new nose, lips and chin following a brutal dog bite.

In 2006, the Atlantic hurricane season ended quietly with not one hurricane hitting U.S shores. 2005 had been especially harsh with Category 5 storms Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the most intense hurricane ever recorded.

Also in 2006, the international committee of the Red Cross said civilians were dying in the Iraq war at an average of more than 100 a day.

In 2007, an AtlasJet Airlines plane traveling from the Turkish capital of Istanbul, to Isparta, Turkey, crashed near the Isparta airport, killing all 56 people on board.


Also in 2007, police arrested a man who claimed to have a bomb and took several people hostage at the presidential campaign office of Hillary Clinton in Rochester, N.H. No one was injured in the almost six-hour ordeal.

And, a stagehand strike that shut down most of New York's current Broadway shows for nearly three weeks ended with a new contract.

A thought for the day: Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote, "I never saw, heard, nor read that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular but some degree of persecution."

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