The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, Oct. 29, the 303rd day of 2012 with 63 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Scottish biographer James Boswell in 1740; singer/composer Daniel Decatur Emmett, who wrote the words and music for "Dixie," in 1815; comedian/singer Fanny Brice in 1891; Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in 1897; political cartoonist Bill Mauldin in 1921; Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 1938 (age 74); English rock musician Denny Laine in 1944 (age 68); singer Melba Moore in 1945 (age 67); actors Richard Dreyfuss in 1947 (age 65), Kate Jackson in 1948 (age 64), Dan Castellaneta in 1957 (age 55); Finola Hughes in 1959 (age 53), Joely Fisher in 1967 (age 45) and Winona Ryder in 1971 (age 41).


On this date in history:

In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded in London. He had been accused of plotting against King James 1.

In 1787, "Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, had its first performance.

In 1901, Leon Czolgosz was electrocuted for the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley.

In 1923, the musical "Runnin' Wild," which introduced the Charleston, opened on Broadway.

In 1929, the sale of 16 million shares marked the collapse of the stock market, setting the stage for the Great Depression.

In 1969, the first connection on what would become the Internet was made when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute. This was the beginning of ARPANET, the forerunner to the Internet developed by the Department of Defense.

In 1991, in a first meeting between Soviet and Israeli heads of state, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir conferred at the Soviet Embassy.

In 1992, Alger Hiss said Russia had cleared him of the charge of being a Communist spy that sent him to prison for four years and helped propel Richard Nixon's political career.


In 1994, a Colorado man was arrested after he sprayed the White House with bullets from an assault rifle. U.S. President Bill Clinton was inside at the time but no one was injured.

In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, who in 1962 became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, returned to space aboard the shuttle Discovery. At 77, he was the oldest person to travel in space.

In 2004, Osama bin Laden, in a videotape to the American people, admitted he ordered the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Also in 2004, European leaders signed the European Union's first constitution.

In 2005, three explosions in New Delhi hit a bus and markets crowded with holiday shoppers, killing at least 65 people.

Also in 2005, 102 people died in a train wreck in southern India, where heavy rains caused major flooding.

In 2006, a Boeing 737 crashed near Nigeria's Abuja airport killing 96 of the 104 people aboard. Officials said the pilot took off after disobeying an air traffic controller and crashed moments later.

Also in 2006, 17 instructors and two translators were gunned down at a British-run police academy at Basra, Iraq.


In 2007, a suicide bomber attacked a police brigade in Iraq, killing 29 people, including 26 police officers.

In 2008, the death toll from a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan topped 200, officials said, as hundreds of people were hurt and more than 20,000 were left homeless.

Also in 2008, as nations around the world worked on ways to avoid severe economic woes, the International Monetary Fund announced it would allocate $100 billion to countries with basically healthy economies but short-term problems.

In 2009, the U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter, the first growth the nation had seen in more than a year.

In 2010, the U.S. Commerce Department said the nation's economy had grown at an annual rate of 2 percent in July-September, not enough to do much for the 9.6 percent jobless rate.

In 2011, at least 13 Americans died when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a NATO bus in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was the highest single-day U.S. loss in Afghanistan since a chopper was shot down in August, killing 38.

Also in 2011, Michael D. Higgins, a 70-year-old poet and longtime member of Ireland's Parliament, was elected the country's president with 39.6 percent of the vote.


A thought for the day: Scottish biographer James Boswell wrote, "I think no innocent species of wit or pleasantry should be suppressed and that a good pun may be admitted among the smaller excellencies of lively conversation."

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