The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2011 with 41 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 botanist John Merle Coulter in 1851; Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, first commissioner of baseball, in 1866; Norman Thomas, six times the Socialist Party candidate for U.S. president, in 1884; astronomer Edwin Hubble in 1889; "Dick Tracy" creator Chester Gould in 1900; TV commentator Alistair Cooke, in 1908; singer/actor Judy Canova in 1916; U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., in 1925; actors Kaye Ballard in 1925 (age 86) and Estelle Parsons in 1927 (age 84); actor/TV game show host Richard Dawson in 1932 (age 79); musician and comedian Dick Smothers of the Smothers Brothers team, in 1939 (age 72); U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in 1942 (age 69); rock musicians Duane Allman in 1946 and Joe Walsh in 1947 (age 64); and actors Veronica Hamel in 1943 (age 68), Richard Masur in 1948 (age 63), Bo Derek in 1956 (age 55), Sean Young in 1959 (age 52) and Ming-Na in 1963 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1272, Edward I was proclaimed King of England.

In 1780, Britain declared war on Holland.

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1943, the Battle of Tarawa-Makin, marking the beginning of the U.S. World War II offensive against Japan in the Central Pacific, began.

In 1945, 24 German leaders went on trial at Nuremberg before the International War Crimes Tribunal.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II of England, married Philip Mountbatten.

In 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain died.

In 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced U.S. Marines would go to Lebanon to assist in the evacuation of PLO fighters.

In 1986, the World Health Organization announced a coordinated global effort against AIDS.

In 1991, the United States provided $1.5 billion in food and technical assistance to the Soviet Union, about half of what was requested.

In 1992, fire erupted at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's official residence west of London, causing much damage. The queen and Prince Andrew helped save priceless artworks and other valuables kept in the castle.

In 1993, the U.S. Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.


In 2002, on the eve of the NATO summit, U.S. President George W. Bush called for a "coalition of the willing," to help the United States disarm Iraq if necessary.

In 2003, 27 people were killed in Istanbul in two blasts that targeted a U.K. bank and the British consulate. Another 400 were wounded.

In 2005, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez led a protest in Caracas against U.S. President George W. Bush's proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas.

In 2006, the News Corp. canceled publication of O.J. Simpson's book about the killing of his ex-wife and her friend, "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," and a subsequent Fox TV special. Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch called the project "ill-considered."

In 2007, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf released 3,400 people jailed under emergency rule but gave no indication as to when martial law would be lifted.

Also in 2007, Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian prime minister who led his South African white-minority government through a violence-wracked era until the end of white rule in 1979, died at 88 after a long illness.


In 2008, the U.S. Congress rejected a plea for a $25 billion bailout by U.S. automakers. Democratic lawmakers said leaders from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler failed to put forth a strategy that would salvage their flagging businesses.

In 2009, Hamid Karzai was sworn in to begin his second five-year term as president of Afghanistan, vowing his army would have full control of the country's security by the time he leaves office.

In 2010, the Federal Drug Administration banned the U.S. sale of popular painkillers Darvon and Darvocet and other drugs containing the ingredient propoxyphene because of what the FDA says was new proof of heart problem side effects.

A thought for the day: Raymond Carver said: "Maybe I just don't understand poetry. I admit it's not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read."

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