The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, Nov. 11, the 315th day of 2011 with 50 to follow.

This is Veterans Day in the United States.


The moon is waning. 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 Abigail Adams, wife of U.S. President John Adams, in 1744; Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1821; U.S. Army Gen. George Patton in 1885; baseball Hall of Fame member Walter "Rabbit" Maranville in 1891; actor Pat O'Brien in 1899; Alger Hiss, accused of being a communist spy in Washington in the late 1940s, in 1904; actors Robert Ryan in 1909 and Stubby Kaye in 1918; novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in 1922; comedian Jonathan Winters in 1925 (age 86); jazz musician Mose Allison in 1927 (age 84); singer-songwriter Jesse Colin Young in 1941 (age 70); golfer Frank "Fuzzy" Zoeller in 1951 (age 60); and actors Stanley Tucci in 1960 (age 51), Demi Moore in 1962 (age 49); Philip McKeon and Calista Flockhart, both in 1964 (age 47) and Leonardo DiCaprio in 1974 (age 37).


On this date in history:

In 1831, Nat Turner, who led fellow slaves on a bloody uprising in Virginia, was hanged. Turner, an educated minister, believed he was chosen by God to lead people out of slavery. Some 60 whites were killed in the two-day rampage.

In 1889, Washington was admitted to the union as the 42nd state.

In 1918, World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice.

In 1921, U.S. President Warren Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1938, Kate Smith first performed "God Bless America" on her weekly radio show. The song had been written for her by Irving Berlin.

In 1945, composer Jerome Kern, who wrote such memorable tunes as "Ol' Man River," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris," died at the age of 60.

In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off on the first commercial space mission.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Anthony Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court after Judge Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his nomination and Judge Robert Bork was rejected by the Senate.


In 1989, an estimated 1 million East Germans poured into reopened West Germany for a day of celebration, visiting and shopping. Most returned home.

In 1992, the Church of England broke the tradition of a male-only clergy when it voted to allow the ordination of women as priests.

In 1994, Jimi Hendrix's stage outfit, John Lennon's "army" shirt and guitars from the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and the Beach Boys were among the items sold at the first pop memorabilia and guitar sale at Christie's in New York.

In 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush and leaders from around the world stood in the shadow of the World Trade Center ruins and, in a colorful and solemn ceremony, honored the dead from more than 80 nations.

In 2002, as many as 34 people were killed by tornadoes and straight-line windstorms that swept across the U.S. South and the Ohio Valley.

In 2004, Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader whose colorful career ranged from terrorist to diplomat, a key figure in the forever smoldering Middle East, died in a Paris hospital after several days in a coma. He was 75.


In 2005, Harvard-educated Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, dubbed the "Iron Lady," claimed victory as the first woman president of Liberia.

In 2006, an anonymous tip led investigators to a mass grave in Bosnia containing more than 100 victims of the infamous Srebrenica massacre.

In 2008, dignitaries from France and Britain laid wreaths at Verdun, France, to note the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I at the site of one of the war's bloodiest battles.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama met with his security team to discuss whether to send about 34,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The plan was one of four options being considered.

In 2010, the head of the U.N. Commission for Human Rights urged nations to expand opportunities for legal immigration to help handle widespread reports of discrimination and prejudice against migrants.

A thought for the day: upon formation of United Artists film corporation in 1919, Richard Rowland said, "The lunatics have taken charge of the asylum." (UA was founded by actors Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford and director D.W. Griffith.)


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