Today is Wednesday, Oct. 5, the 278th day of 2011 with 87 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Venus and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include French philosopher Denis Diderot in 1713; Chester A. Arthur, 21st president of the United States, in 1829; rocket pioneer Robert Goddard in 1882; restaurant entrepreneur Ray Kroc (McDonald's) and comic Larry Fine of The Three Stooges (the one with the wild wavy hair) in 1902; actor Donald Pleasence in 1919; political activist and defrocked priest Philip Berrigan in 1923; "Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane in 1922 (age 89); actor Glynis Johns in 1923 (age 88); actor/comedian Bill Dana in 1924 (age 87); Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic, in 1936 (age 75); football Hall of fame member Barry Switzer in 1937 (age 74); rock singer/songwriter Steve Miller in 1943 (age 68); baseball writer and theorist Bill James in 1949 (age 62); actor Karen Allen and Irish rock musician Bob Geldof, organizer of the 1985 Live Aid famine relief concert, both in 1951 (age 60); comedian Bernie Mac in 1957; astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson in 1958 (age 53); architect Maya Lin in 1959 (age 52); race car driver Michael Andretti in 1962 (age 49); hockey Hall of Fame members Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy, both in 1965 (age 46); and actor Kate Winslet in 1975 (age 36).
On this date in history:
In 1813, the Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was killed while fighting on the side of the British during the War of 1812.
In 1918, Germany's Hindenburg Line was broken as World War I neared an end.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI made an unprecedented 14-hour visit to New York to plead for world peace before the United Nations.
In 1973, Egypt and Syria, hoping to win back territory lost to Israel during the third Arab-Israeli war, launched a coordinated attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
In 1989, TV evangelist Jim Bakker was convicted on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for fleecing his PTL flock.
Also in 1989, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent efforts to free his homeland from China.
In 1991, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, responding to unilateral U.S. action, announced cuts in nuclear weapons that would reduce the number of strategic warheads to 5,000 in seven years.
In 1994, 53 members of a secretive religious cult were found dead -- the victims of murder or suicide -- over a two-day period in Switzerland and Canada.
In 1999, MCI WorldCom Inc. announced that it had agreed to buy the Sprint Corp. in a $129 billion deal that would be the largest corporate acquisition ever at that point.
In 2000, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavians overthrew the Belgrade government, causing Slobodan Milosevic, the defeated presidential incumbent, to resign, ending 13 years of rule.
In 2001, Robert Stevens, photo editor for America media Inc. of Boca Raton Fla., publisher of the National Enquirer and other tabloids, died after being infected with anthrax.
And in 2001 sports, Barry Bonds hit his 71st home run, most by a player in one season, breaking Mark McGwire's 1998 Major League Baseball record. The San Francisco Giants slugger finished the season with 73 homers.
In 2005, scientists announced that a form of bird flu that jumped directly to humans was the real cause of a 1918 pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
In 2007, U.S. sprinter Marion Jones, who won five medals during the 2000 Olympic Games, three of them gold, admitted taking steroids to enhance her track performance. She drew a two-year ban and forfeiture of medals on her guilty plea to lying to federal investigators.
In 2008, strategists in both major U.S. political parties say the country's economic turmoil is changing the presidential electoral map in favor of Democrat Barack Obama.
In 2009, the investigating U.N. nuclear agency concluded that Iran had "sufficient information to be able to design and produce" an atomic bomb.
In 2010, Faisal Shahzad, the man who left an explosives-laden vehicle in New York's Times Square, hoping to detonate it on a busy night, was sentenced to life in prison.
Also in 2010, at least 97 people were killed and 81 others seriously injured following flash floods on the Indonesian island of New Guinea.