The almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Oct. 26, the 300th day of 2012 with 66 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus and Jupiter. The evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Mars and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include cereal foods entrepreneur C. W. Post in 1854; baseball Hall of Fame member Judy Johnson in 1900; boxing champion Primo Carnera in 1906; singer Mahalia Jackson and football Hall of Fame member Sid Gillman, both in 1911; bandleader Charlie Barnet in 1913; actor Jackie Coogan in 1914; French President Francois Mitterrand and U.S. aviator Boyd Wagner, both in 1916; Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran, in 1919; actor Bob Hoskins in 1942 (age 70); author Pat Conroy in 1945 (age 67); TV personality Pat Sajak in 1946 (age 66); U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, in 1947 (age 65); and actors Jaclyn Smith in 1947 (age 65), Dylan McDermott in 1961 (age 51), Cary Elwes in 1962 (age 50) and Tom Cavanagh in 1964 (age 48); rock musician Keith Strickland in 1953 (age 59); Bolivian President Evo Morales in 1959 (age 53); singers Natalie Merchant in 1963 (age 49) and Keith Urban in 1967 (age 45); and actor Jon Heder in 1977 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1775, King George III declared the American colonies to be in rebellion and approved a military campaign to stop the revolution.

In 1881, the storied gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred in Tombstone, Ariz.

In 1906, workers in St. Petersburg set up the first Russian "soviet," or council.

In 1920, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Ireland, Terence McSwiney, died after a 2 1/2-month hunger strike in a British prison cell, demanding independence for Ireland.

In 1942, Japanese warships sank the aircraft carrier USS Hornet off the Solomon Islands.

In 1944, after four days of furious fighting, the World War II battle of Leyte Gulf, largest air-naval clash in history, ended with a decisive U.S. victory over the Japanese.

In 1965, The Beatles were presented Member of the Order of the British Empire medals by Queen Elizabeth.

In 1979, South Korean President Park Chung-hee was assassinated by the director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1984, Dr. Leonard L. Bailey performed the first baboon-to-human heart transplant, replacing a 14-day-old infant girl's defective heart with a healthy, walnut-sized heart of a young baboon at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California.

In 1990, District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $5,000 for his conviction on misdemeanor drug charges.

In 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty at a desert site along the Israeli-Jordanian border.

In 1995, Islamic Jihad leader Fathi ash-Shiqaqi was assassinated in Malta.

In 1998, one day before NATO airstrikes were to begin, Serbian soldiers and police began what was said to be a significant pullback from positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, where they reportedly were killing ethnic Albanians.

Also in 1998, the presidents of Ecuador and Peru signed a peace treaty, ending a decades-long border dispute.

In 2002, Moscow's four-day hostage crisis came to a bloody end when Russian soldiers stormed a theater where Chechen rebels had held 700 people for ransom. Ninety hostages and 50 rebels were killed.

In 2004, a U.N. investigation into Iraq's oil-for-food program reportedly turned up names of several prominent politicians in France, Russia and elsewhere said to have received illegal Iraqi oil from Saddam Hussein.

In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ignited international outrage when he said Israel should be wiped off the map.

In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a bill authorizing construction of nearly 700 miles of fencing on the U.S. border with Mexico to better control illegal immigration.

Also in 2006, Nicaragua's National Assembly voted unanimously to ban all abortions.

In 2009, two helicopter crashes in Afghanistan killed 14 Americans – 11 soldiers and three civilians – on one of the deadliest days of the eight-year war.

Also in 2009, construction on a North Korean missile base capable of handling improved intercontinental ballistic missiles has been completed, reportedly designed to handle missiles with a range of at least 3,100 miles, South Korean officials said.

In 2010, an Iraqi court sentenced Tariq Aziz, a former key aide to Saddam Hussein, to death for crimes against rival political parties.

Also in 2010, GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug manufacturer, agreed to settle criminal and civil complaints for $750 million, stemming from accusations of knowingly selling drugs with questionable safety standards.

In 2011, eurozone leaders claimed a debt-crisis victory after getting deals that cut Greece's debt in half and increased the main bailout fund to $1.4 trillion. In addition, Greece was in line for a new $140 billion bailout in 2012. Europe's 70 biggest banks also must raise about $150 billion to protect against loan losses in shaky countries like Greece and Portugal.

A thought for the day: English writer William Hazlitt said, "Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it but they labor in it because they excel."

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