The almanac

United Press International

Today is Saturday, Nov. 12, the 316th day of 2011 with 49 to follow.

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 French physicist Jacques Charles in 1746; women's suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1815; Baha'u'llah (born Mirza Husayn Ali), founder-prophet of the Baha'i faith, in 1817; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in 1908; singer Jo Stafford in 1917; actor Kim Hunter in 1922; Princess Grace of Monaco, the former American movie star Grace Kelly, in 1929; cult leader Charles Manson in 1934 (age 77); actor Wallace Shawn in 1943 (age 68); sportscaster Al Michaels in 1944 (age 67); rock musician Neil Young in 1945 (age 66); actor Megan Mullally in 1958 (age 53); Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci in 1961 (age 50); writer Naomi Wolf in 1962 (age 49); former baseball slugger Sammy Sosa in 1968 (age 43); and actor Anne Hathaway in 1982 (age 29).


On this date in history:

In 1799, the first North American meteor shower on record took place. Early American astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass said, "The whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets."

n 1892, the first professional football game was played in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Athletic Association defeated the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, 4-0. (Touchdowns at the time were worth 4 points.)

In 1941, the German army's drive to take Moscow was halted on the city's outskirts in World War II.

In 1948, a war crimes tribunal in Japan sentenced former premier Hideki Tojo and six other World War II Japanese leaders to death by hanging.

In 1980, the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed Saturn and sent back stunning pictures.

In 1981, the shuttle Columbia became the first spacecraft launched twice from Earth.

In 1982, former KGB chief Yuri Andropov succeeded the late Leonid Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

Also in 1982, Polish authorities freed Solidarity founder Lech Walesa after 11 months of imprisonment.

In 1990, Akihito was crowned the 125th emperor of Japan.

In 1991, about 50 people were killed when Indonesian troops opened fire on protesters in the province of Timor Leste.


In 1992, Volker Keith Meinhold became the first openly gay person on active duty in the U.S. military when, armed with a court order, he reported to work at Moffett Naval Air Station in Mountain View, Calif., for reinstatement as a chief petty officer.

In 1993, pop star Michael Jackson, hounded by allegations that he had molested a teenage boy, canceled the rest of his worldwide "Dangerous" tour, citing an addiction to painkillers.

In 1997, Ramzi Ahmed and Eyad Ismoil were convicted of involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Four other men had been convicted in 1994.

In 2001, an American Airlines Airbus crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York. More than 260 people died in the crash.

In 2003, actor Art Carney, who won fame and Emmy Awards as sewer worker Ed Norton on the "Honeymooners" TV show in the 1950s and an Oscar in 1974 for "Harry and Tonto," died at age 85.

In 2005, al-Qaida named Queen Elizabeth II of England "one of the severest enemies of Islam," said to be justification for July bombings in London.


In 2007, police in Jokela, Finland, said they believed a teenager who killed eight high school classmates may have had Internet contact with a Philadelphia youth who was arrested for planning a similar attack.

In 2008, the Bush administration said it would use part of the $700 billion bailout package to help banks lend to consumers rather than buying troubled mortgage assets from banks and financial institutions as originally planned.

Also in 2008, a Taipei court ordered former President Chen Shui-bian, an advocate of independence for Taiwan, detained on corruption and other charges. The ruling came one day after Chen was questioned for six hours on embezzlement, fraud, bribe and money-laundering allegations.

In 2009, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree. Hasan, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, allegedly gunned down 12 unarmed soldiers and one civilian on Nov. 5, injuring more than 30 others.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the U.S. Defense Department from discharging openly gay military personnel under its "don't ask, don't tell" policy. A federal judge earlier ruled the policy was unconstitutional and should be ended.


Also in 2010, pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with a crew of 31 almost 1,350 miles from the Horn of Africa in waters closer to India than to home base Somalia.

A thought for the day: women's suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal."

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