The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Nov. 24, the 328th day of 2011 with 37 to follow.

This is Thanksgiving 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 Sagittarius. They include Dutch philosopher Baruch Benedict de Spinoza in 1632; British novelist and clergyman Laurence Sterne and Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, both in 1713; Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States, in 1784; painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in 1864; ragtime composer Scott Joplin in 1868; lecturer and author Dale Carnegie in 1888; pianist Teddy Wilson in 1912; actors Geraldine Fitzgerald in 1913 and Howard Duff in 1917; columnist William F. Buckley in 1925; basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in 1938 (age 73); musician Donald "Duck" Dunn in 1941 (age 70); comedian Billy Connolly in 1942 (age 69); basketball Hall of Famer and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in 1943 (age 68); serial killer Ted Bundy in 1946; and actors Dwight Schultz in 1947 (age 64), Stanley Livingston in 1950 (age 61), Colin Hanks in 1977 (age 34) and Katherine Heigl in 1978 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1863, Union Gen. U.S. Grant launched the U.S. Civil War battle of Chattanooga in Tennessee.

In 1859, Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" was published.

In 1869, women from 21 states met in Cleveland to organize the American Women Suffrage Association.

In 1874, Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which led to the farming of the U.S. Great Plains.

In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in a Dallas jail building two days after Kennedy was slain.

In 1971, a passenger ticketed as "D.B. Cooper" hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland, Ore., to Seattle, and parachuted south of Seattle with a $200,000 ransom collected from the airline. He reportedly was never heard from again.

In 1985, Arab commandos forced an Egypt Air jetliner to Malta and began shooting passengers, fatally wounding two. Fifty-seven other people died when Egyptian commandos stormed the jet.

In 1993, the Brady bill handgun-control legislation cleared Congress. U.S. President Bill Clinton signed it into law on Nov. 30, 1993.


In 1995, Irish voters passed a referendum removing the constitutional ban on divorce.

In 2002, suspected Islamic terrorists stormed a famous Hindu temple in Kashmir, India, killing seven people and wounding 30 others.

In 2003, Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, who had more wins (363) than any other left-hander in major league baseball history, died at the age of 82.

In 2005, a suicide car bomber struck at an Iraqi hospital where U.S. soldiers were giving away toys, killing at least 31 people, mostly women and children. Nearly two dozen others died in further violence during the day in Iraq.

In 2006, a car bomb killed at least 22 people in Talafar, Iraq, running the death toll in a 24-hour rash of Baghdad bombings to 202.

In 2007, a brigade of 5,000 U.S. troops left Diyala province, considered the first significant pullback of American troops from Iraq.

Also in 2007, Kevin Rudd took over as Australian prime minister, defeating John Howard who was seeking a fifth term after 11 years in office.

In 2008, U.S. regulators and Citigroup Inc. negotiated a rescue of the troubled bank with Citibank taking on $29 billion in toxic assets and the American government absorbing the rest of at least $306 billion in problem securities.


Also in 2008, nearly four dozen people were killed and some 20,000 homes destroyed in floods that devastated the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama's overall approval rating slipped to less than 50 percent for the first time in his presidency, a 16 percentage point drop since his first full week in office, Gallup poll results indicated.

Also in 2009, two men were executed in China for involvement in the country's 2008 tainted milk scandal, which sickened 300,000 infants, killing six.

In 2010, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas was convicted of money laundering on charges of illegally funneling $190,000 of corporate money through the Republican National Committee to candidates during the 2002 elections.

Also in 2010, New Zealand authorities said 29 men trapped in the Pike River coal mine were believed dead after a second gas explosion. Prime Minister John Key said it was the nation's worst mine accident in 96 years.

A thought for the day: Dutch philosopher Baruch Benedict de Spinoza said: "Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."


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