The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Nov. 1, the 306th day of 2012 with 60 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 journalist and novelist Stephen Crane in 1871; Argentine politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Carlos Saavedra Lamas in 1878; sports writer/poet Grantland Rice and Polish author Sholem Asch, both in 1880; Canadian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Philip Noel-Baker in 1889; journalist James Kilpatrick in 1920; actor Betsy Palmer in 1926 (age 86); hockey Hall of Fame member Al Arbour in 1932 (age 80); golf Hall of Fame member Gary Player in 1935 (age 77); "Hustler" publisher Larry Flynt in 1942 (age 70); musician and politician Kinky Friedman in 1944 (age 68); country singer Lyle Lovett in 1957 (age 55); rock drummer Rick Allen in 1963 (age 49); and actors Rachel Ticotin in 1958 (age 54) and Toni Collette and Jenny McCarthy, both in 1972 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo's finest works, was exhibited to the public for the first time.

In 1604, William Shakespeare's "Othello" was staged for first time.

In 1611, William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" made its debut.

In 1755, an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed 60,000 people.

In 1765, American colonists were furious over the new British Stamp Act, termed "taxation without representation" and, ultimately, a major cause of the revolution.

In 1800, U.S. President John Adams and his family moved into the newly built White House as Washington became the U.S. capital.

In 1918, the Hapsburg monarchy of Austria-Hungary was dissolved. Vienna became the capital of Austria and Budapest the capital of Hungary.

In 1922, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey became a republic.

In 1938, Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in horse racing's "match of the century."

In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into the Blair House in Washington in an attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry Truman.

In 1986, a warehouse fire in Basel, Switzerland, triggered massive chemical pollution of the Rhine River in Switzerland, France, West Germany and the Netherlands.


In 1990, McDonald's, under pressure from environmental groups, said it would replace plastic food containers with paper.

In 1991, the Russian Congress of People's Deputies granted Boris Yeltsin sweeping powers to launch and direct radical economic reforms in Russia.

In 1993, the European Community's treaty on European unity took effect.

In 2008, Vietnam's heaviest rains in 20 years triggered dangerous flooding through parts of the country. At least 24 people died in the deluge.

Also in 2008, the top British Special Forces commander in Afghanistan resigned to protest what he called lack of proper equipment for combat troops. Maj. Sebastian Morley blamed "chronic underinvestment."

In 2009, the way was cleared for Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to begin a second five-year term after his runoff opponent Abdullah Abdullah withdrew, claiming it wouldn't be a fair election. Karzai had barely missed winning re-election outright in the controversial initial vote.

Also in 2009, CIT Group Inc., a major source of credit for small and mid-size U.S. businesses, filed for bankruptcy in a move that analysts said could cost American taxpayers $2.4 billion.

In 2010, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, went on trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges. Defense lawyers said he was being persecuted for "good politics."


Also in 2010, a Somali-American, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, was elected prime minister of Somali and took over the U.S.-backed government battling Islamic insurgents.

In 2011, world population has topped the 7 billion mark, a U.N. report said, doubling the total of 1968. The U.N. Population Fund predicted 8 billion by 2025.

Also in 2011, Syria said it had reached agreement with the Arab League on ending violence sparked by anti-government protests that demanded reforms or President Bashar Assad's ouster.

A thought for the day: Eubie Blake, who lived to be 100, reportedly said, "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

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