Today is Monday, Oct. 24, the 297th day of 2011 with 68 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include pioneering Dutch microscope maker Anton Van Leeuwenhoek in 1632; journalist Sarah Josepha Hale, author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," in 1788; attorney Belva Lockwood, the first woman candidate for U.S. president, nominated by the National Equal Rights Party, in 1830; film producer-director Merian Cooper (the original "King Kong") in 1893; playwright Moss Hart in 1904; cartoonist Bob Kane, creator of Batman, in 1915; football Hall of Fame member Y.A. Tittle in 1926 (age 85); former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman in 1936 (age 75); former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume in 1948 (age 63); actors David Nelson in 1936, F. Murray Abraham in 1939 (age 72) and Kevin Kline in 1947 (age 64); singer Monica (Arnold) in 1980 (age 31); model Tila Tequila in 1981 (age 30); and English soccer player Wayne Rooney in 1985 (age 26).
On this date in history:
In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe.
In 1861, the first telegram was transmitted across the United States from California Chief Justice Stephen Field to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in Washington.
In 1901, daredevil Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
In 1945, following Soviet ratification, U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes announced the United Nations charter was in effect, less than two months after the end of World War II.
In 1984, the FBI arrested 11 alleged chiefs of the Colombo crime family on charges of racketeering in New York City.
In 1989, TV evangelist Jim Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison and fined $500,000 for fleecing his flock.
In 1993, the death of Burundi President Melchior Ndadaye in a military coup was confirmed.
In 1995, the United Nations marked its 50th anniversary with the largest gathering of world leaders in history.
In 2002, police arrested two suspects in the three-week series of sniper attacks in the Washington area that killed 10 and wounded three others. John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, were found sleeping in a car at a rest stop outside Frederick, Md.
In 2003, an era in aviation history ended when the supersonic Concorde took off from New York to London on its final flight.
In 2004, a series of severe earthquakes in northern Japan killed 21 people and injured more than 1,500 others.
In 2008, OPEC announced that it would cut oil production 1.5 million barrels a day after a three-month plunge in prices sent the cost of a barrel of crude oil from $147 in mid-July to $64 Oct. 24.
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama declared a national emergency related to the outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus, also known as swine flu, to aid local authorities in dealing with the pandemic. Medical officials put the American death toll at 530 with thousands hospitalized.
In 2010, gunmen stormed a birthday party in the Mexican border city of Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, and killed 13 people. Feuding drug cartels were believed to be responsible.
Also in 2010, doctors and relief workers in Haiti said they feared a cholera outbreak north of Port-au-Prince would reach the capital as the disease's death toll surpassed 250. Some 3,115 cases have been confirmed.
A thought for the day: Hindu nationalist leader Mohandas Gandhi said, "I believe that a man is the strongest soldier for daring to die unarmed."