The almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 2, the 306th day of 2011 with 59 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1734; Marie Antoinette, queen of France, in 1755; U.S. President James Polk in 1795; U.S. President Warren G. Harding in 1865; astronomer Harlow Shapley, a pioneer in studies of the Milky Way, in 1885; jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan in 1908; actor Burt Lancaster in 1913; Canadian hockey Hall of fame member Bill Mosienko in 1921; Australian tennis Hall of Fame member Ken Rosewall in 1934 (age 77); columnist, commentator and GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan in 1938 (age 73); author Shere Hite and actor Stefanie Powers, both in 1942 (age 69); country-rock singer-songwriter J.D. Souther in 1945 (age 66); singer k.d. lang in 1961 (age 50); and actor David Schwimmer in 1966 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states of the union.

In 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour proposed a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Israel became a reality 31 years later.

In 1920, in the first significant news broadcast, KDKA in Pittsburgh reported the U.S. presidential election results for Warren G. Harding and James Cox.

In 1947, Howard Hughes built and piloted the world's largest airplane, the 200-ton flying boat Spruce Goose, on its only flight, at Long Beach, Calif. The Goose remained airborne for just less than 1 mile.

In 1959, Charles Van Doren told a congressional investigation he had been given questions and answers in advance of appearances on a television game show.

In 1962, U.S. President John Kennedy announced that Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled.

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill establishing a national holiday to mark the birthday anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1986, U.S. hostage David Jacobsen was released in Beirut after 17 months. Later disclosures showed his freedom was a trade for U.S. arms sent to Iran.

In 1992, legendary filmmaker Hal Roach died at age 100. He was credited with discovering the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy and producing the "Our Gang" comedies.

Also in 1992, HIV-infected Earvin "Magic" Johnson retired from professional basketball "for good."

In 1993, a new series of wildfires swept along the Southern California coast, destroying more than 300 homes in the exclusive community of Malibu.

In 1996, Britain announced a plan to ban ownership of large-caliber handguns.

In 2001, the U.S. Labor Department announced that October unemployment jumped to 5.4 percent, highest in five years and that 415,000 non-farm jobs had been lost, highest monthly figure since 1980.

In 2003, at least 13 U.S. soldiers were killed and about 20 wounded in Iraq when a missile downed a helicopter carrying members of the 82nd Airborne Division near Fallujah.

In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush was re-elected in a close race with Democrat John Kerry.

Also in 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who received death threats because of his film about violence against Islamic women, was slain as he rode his bicycle through an Amsterdam park.

In 2006, a foiled British terror plot to blow up 10 passenger airplanes with liquid bombs was meant to occur over U.S. cities, a senior FBI official said.

In 2007, rescuers worked in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco to help the estimated 300,000 people trapped by flooding.

In 2008, Rupiah Banda has been declared president of the African nation of Zambia with 40 percent of the vote, compared to 38 percent for challenger Michael Sata.

In 2009, North Korean officials called on the United States for one-on-one talks as a prelude to resumption of nuclear disarmament discussions, warning it would forge its own road if Washington didn't respond.

Also in 2009, at least 35 people died when a suicide bomber detonated a device outside a bank in a busy area of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, officials said.

In 2010, letter bombs and other explosive-laden packages were sent to several embassies in Athens, Greece, as well as to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office. No major injuries were reported.

A thought for the day: after winning the Masters tournament, golfer Tiger Woods said: ''I'm the first (African-American winner), but I wasn't the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, Teddy Rhodes, those guys paved the way for me to be here. I thank them."

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