The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2012 with 85 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include British writer John Marston in 1576; signer of the Declaration of Independence Caesar Rodney in 1728; poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1849; Grand Ole Opry star Uncle Dave Macon in 1870; labor activist Joe Hill in 1879; Danish atomic physicist Niels Bohr in 1885; actor Andy Devine in 1905; singer/bandleader Vaughn Monroe in 1911; actor June Allyson in 1917; actor/singer Al Martino in 1927; South African archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu in 1931 (age 81); television personality Joy Behar in 1942 (age 70); Oliver North, the former White House aide who became the center of the Iran-Contra controversy, in 1943 (age 69); rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame member John Mellencamp in 1951 (age 61); Russian President Vladimir Putin in 1952 (age 60); classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1955 (age 57); recording executive and television personality Simon Cowell in 1959 (age 53); and singer Toni Braxton in 1968 (age 44).


On this date in history:

In 1913, for the first time, Henry Ford's entire Highland Park automobile factory was run on a continuously moving assembly line.

In 1916, in the most lopsided football game on record, Georgia Tech humbled Cumberland University, 222-0.

In 1949, less than five months after Britain, the United States and France established the Federal Republic of Germany in West Germany, the Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) was proclaimed within the Soviet occupation zone.

In 1968, the U.S. movie industry adopted a film ratings system for the first time: G (for general audiences), M (for mature audiences), R (no one under 16 admitted without an adult) and X (no one under 16 admitted).

In 1982, "Cats" opened on Broadway. The play ran continuously until Sept. 10, 2000.

In 1985, four Palestinian terrorists commandeered the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro with 511 passengers and crew off Egypt and threatened to blow it up unless Israel freed Palestinian prisoners. The hijackers, who surrendered in Port Said two days later, killed an American passenger.

Also in 1985, a mudslide in Ponce, Puerto Rico, killed an estimated 500 people in the island's worst disaster of the 20th century.


In 1991, Iran freed U.S. telecommunications engineer John Pattis, ending five years of captivity on charges of spying for the CIA.

Also in 1991, U.N. inspectors discovered an Iraqi nuclear weapons research center intact.

And in 1991, Slovenia and Croatia formally declared secession from Yugoslavia.

In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, creating the world's largest trading bloc.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he was sending the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines in response to an Iraqi military buildup along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border.

In 1997, scientists announced they had found one of the most massive stars known behind a dense dust cloud in the Milky Way that had previously concealed it, 25,000 light-years from Earth.

In 1999, American Home Products, the makers of the diet drug combination known as "fen-phen," agreed to a $3.75 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit stemming from the drugs' use, which was linked to heart valve problems.

In 2000, Vojislav Kostunica was sworn in as Yugoslavia's president.

In 2001, in the war on terror, the United States and Britain began a series of nightly attacks on targets in Afghanistan.


In a pre-recorded tape played on this date, 2001, Osama bin Laden warned, "America will not live in peace" until peace came to "Palestine" and "until the army of infidels depart the land of Muhammad."

In 2003, Californians voted to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and elected actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, as their new governor.

In 2004, at least 56 people were killed and about 100 others injured when three bombs exploded at Egyptian resort areas near the Israeli border.

Also in 2004, Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne.

In 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency and its director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2006, three former congressional pages joined two others in accusing former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., of making "sexual approaches" over the Internet. Foley resigned when the first of the reports surfaced.

In 2008, a federal immigration raid on a poultry processing plant in South Carolina netted the arrest of about 300 people as part of a 10-month criminal investigation into alleged illegal employment practices.

Also in 2008, anti-government protests in Thailand turned violent with two deaths and more than 400 injuries in fighting with security forces.


In 2009, a majority of U.S. residents said it was important to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it meant taking military action, a survey by the Pew Research Center indicated.

Also in 2009, a statue of the remarkable Helen Keller, showing her at the moment the blind and deaf 7-year-old got a sense of language, was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol.

In 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo, an opponent of the Chinese regime imprisoned for seeking democratic reforms.

Also in 2010, the U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs in September as the nation's unemployment rate stayed at 9.6 percent. Reports blamed a decline in new jobs created by private companies and a rapid drop in government work.

And, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama headed Forbes magazine's list of the world's most powerful women.

In 2011, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent in September for the third consecutive month. The Labor Department said 103,000 jobs had been added, more than expected but less than economists said was needed to keep up with population growth.

Also in 2011, three women, two from Liberia and one from Yemen, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on behalf of women's rights.


A thought for the day: in "Don Quixote," Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes wrote, "Diligence is the mother of good fortune."

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