The almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 6, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Nov. 6, the 311th day of 2012 with 55 to follow.

This is Election Day in the United States.

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 Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, in 1814; Charles Henry Dow, co-founder of Dow Jones and Co. and first editor of The Wall Street Journal, in 1851; band leader and composer John Philip Sousa ("the March King") in 1854; James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, in 1861; baseball Hall of Fame member Walter Johnson in 1887; musician Ray Conniff in 1916; director Mike Nichols in 1931 (age 81); actor Sally Field in 1946 (age 66); rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame member Glenn Frey in 1948 (age 64); TV journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver in 1955 (age 57); actors Lori Singer in 1957 (age 55), Lance Kerwin in 1960 (age 52), Ethan Hawke in 1970 (age 42), Rebecca Romijn in 1972 (age 40) and Emma Stone in 1988 (age 24); and pro football player turned soldier Pat Tillman in 1976.

On this date in history:

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th president of the United States.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.

In 1869, in the first formal intercollegiate football game, Rutgers beat Princeton, 6-4.

In 1917, the Bolshevik revolution began in Russia. Because it took place under the old czarist calendar, it is known as the October Revolution.

In 1921, the cult of Rudolph Valentino was launched with the release of his silent film "The Sheik," which despite negative reviews immediately caught the attention of women across the United States.

In 1952, the United States exploded the world's first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1968, Republican Richard Nixon was elected 37th president of the United States, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey.

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan was elected to a second term, winning 49 states.

In 1986, U.S. intelligence sources confirmed a report that the United States secretly sold arms to Iran to secure the release of seven U.S. hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

Also in 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the landmark immigration reform bill, the first U.S. immigration law authorizing penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.

In 1995, world leaders gathered in Jerusalem for the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In 2001, speaking at a Warsaw summit, U.S. President George W. Bush said for the first time that Osama bin Laden was trying to get chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

In 2005, at least 23 people were killed and some 230 injured when a tornado swept through parts of Indiana and Kentucky.

Also in 2005, U.S. gasoline prices fell an average of 23 cents per gallon to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was $2.43, about 20 cents lower than it had been a few days before Aug. 29 storm.

In 2007, a suicide bomber hurled himself at a delegation of lawmakers in a northern Afghan city, killing at least 50 people, including six members of Parliament and several children, and injuring about 150 others.

Also in 2007, military reports said the deaths of six U.S. troops in Iraq made 2007 the deadliest year of the conflict for American forces. The toll reached 851, two more than the record set in 2004.

In 2009, U.S. unemployment rate reached 10.2 percent in October, the highest rate in 26 years.

In 2010, Java's Mount Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes, claimed 76 more lives in the latest in a series of eruptions, running the toll to at least 130. Several commercial flights between Singapore and Jakarta were suspended because of volcanic ash in the air.

Also in 2010, Somali pirates released two ships commandeered on the high seas, from China and South Korea, after apparently extracting millions in ransom.

In 2011, the United States wants to keep Special Forces troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future to help the government keep a lid on al-Qaida, officials say, pointing to a likelihood the terrorist group would try to reassert itself after the bulk of U.S. forces leave.

Also in 2011, controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned in the midst of an acute debt crisis as lawmakers passed another round of austerity measures.

A thought for the day: John Maynard Keynes said, "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking."

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