The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, Nov. 7, the 311th day of 2008 with 54 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Marie Curie, discoverer of radium, in 1867; band leader Phil Spitalny (known for his all-female orchestra) in 1890; Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler in 1900; actor Dean Jagger in 1903; musician/comic Red Ingle in 1906; French novelist Albert Camus in 1913; evangelist Billy Graham in 1918 (age 91); jazz trumpeter Al Hirt in 1922; Australian opera star Joan Sutherland in 1926 (age 83); singers Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary) in 1937; Johnny Rivers in 1942 (age 67) and Joni Mitchell in 1943 (age 66).


On this date in history:

In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean.

In 1874, the first cartoon depicting the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party was printed in Harper's Weekly.

In 1916, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian government in St. Petersburg.


In 1940, only four months after its completion, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, the third longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, collapsed. No one was injured.

In 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected to a fourth term in the midst of World War II but died the following April. Harry Truman, his vice president, succeeded him as president.

In 1972, Republican Richard Nixon was re-elected as president of the United States, defeating Democrat George McGovern.

In 1983, a bomb exploded in the U.S. Capitol, causing heavy damage just outside the Senate chamber but there were no injuries.

In 1985, Colombian troops ended a 27-hour siege of Bogota's Palace of Justice by 35 M-19 guerrillas. Eleven Supreme Court judges were among the 100 people killed.

In 1987, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his 9-day-old candidacy following criticism of his judicial ethics and his disclosure that he had used marijuana.

In 1989, Democrat David Dinkins was elected as the first black mayor of New York City. In Virginia, Democrat Douglas Wilder claimed victory in a razor-thin race to become the first black elected governor in the United States.

Also in 1989, "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez was formally sentenced in Los Angeles to die in the gas chamber for 13 killings.


In 1991, basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson disclosed he was HIV-positive and announced he was retiring from the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2000, in one of the closest U.S. presidential elections ever, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore wound up in almost a dead heat with Bush determined the winner more than a month later following turmoil over the disputed Florida vote that ultimately involved the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2001, U.S.-led jets resumed bombing in northern Afghanistan, targeting Taliban positions near the country's northeastern border with Tajikistan.

In 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Saddam Hussein "action will follow" if the Iraqi leader fails to meet demands in a U.N. resolution regarding weapons inspectors.

In 2004, in an overwhelming show of force, France put down a wave of anti-French violence in Ivory Coast, its former West African colony.

In 2005, Chilean police arrested former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori hours after he arrived in Santiago, on his way to Peru to run for president again. The 67-year-old politician was wanted for corruption and human rights abuses in his home country.

In 2006, Democrats regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Republicans and reclaimed Senate leadership as well in 2006 midterm elections.


In 2007, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili imposed a state of emergency after days of protests by opposition parties who want him to resign. He said elections would be in January 2008.

In 2008, as expected, the U.S. Labor Department announced the loss of 240,000 jobs in October, bringing the American unemployment rate to 6.5 percent, highest point since 1994.

Also in 2008, authorities said about 90 people, mostly students, were killed when a reportedly poorly built church-run school collapsed on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.


A thought for the day: French novelist Albert Camus wrote, "The struggle to reach the top is itself enough to fulfill the heart of man."

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