The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 14, the 319th day of 2012 with 47 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, in 1765; French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, in 1840; Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru in 1889; U.S. composer Aaron Copland in 1900; singers Morton Downey in 1901 and Johnny Desmond in 1919; actor/singer Dick Powell in 1904; Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren in 1907; U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., in 1908; former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1922 (age 90); actors Brian Keith in 1921, Veronica Lake in 1922 and McLean Stevenson in 1927; astronaut Edward White, killed in the 1967 Apollo I launch pad fire, in 1930; King Hussein of Jordan in 1935; writer P.J. O'Rourke and musician Buckwheat Zydeco, both in 1947 (age 65); Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1948 (age 64); former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Age singer/songwriter Yanni in 1954 (age 58); actors D.B. Sweeney in 1961 (age 51), Laura San Giacomo in 1962 (age 50) and Patrick Warburton in 1964 (age 48); and television newscaster Bill Hemmer in 1964 (age 48).


On this date in history:

In 1666, the first blood transfusion took place in London. Blood from one dog was transfused into another.

In 1832, the first horse-drawn streetcar made its appearance in New York City.

In 1889, newspaper reporter Nellie Bly set off to break the fictional record of voyaging around the world in 80 days set by Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg. She made the trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.

In 1926, the NBC radio network made its debut.

In 1940, German planes bombed Coventry, England, destroying or damaging 69,000 buildings.

In 1972, for the first time in its 76-year history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 1,000.

In 1984, former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon went to court in New York with a $50 million libel suit against Time magazine. He lost after a two-month trial.

In 1986, the White House acknowledged the CIA role in secretly shipping weapons to Iran.

In 1988, the PLO proclaimed an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, endorsing a renunciation of terrorism and an implicit recognition of Israel.


In 1990, a gunman in Dunedin, New Zealand, killed 12 neighbors and was killed by police in the nation's worst mass slaying.

In 1991, U.S. and British officials accused two Libyan agents in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in which 270 people died.

In 1993, residents of Puerto Rico voted in favor of continuing their U.S. commonwealth status.

In 1994, the 31-mile Chunnel Tunnel under the English Channel opened to passenger traffic between England and France.

In 2003, an Alabama jury ordered Exxon Mobil to pay the state $11.8 billion in damages relating to gas royalties for offshore drilling projects. The jury also awarded compensatory damages of $63.6 million.

In 2005, private U.S. donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina were reported to be near the $2.7 billion mark in 11 weeks, close to the record $2.8 billion said to have gone to Sept. 11, 2001, charities.

In 2009, NASA scientists report finding at least 26 gallons of water on the moon after studying results of their L-cross satellite mission, demonstrating what they called the possibility of sustaining life there.

Also in 2009, former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, 62, a nine-term Democratic congressman, was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for bribery and racketeering.


In 2010, the death toll from Haiti's cholera epidemic reached 917, rising by 121 in two days, the health ministry said.

Also in 2010, an auction of imprisoned swindler Bernie Madoff's possessions in New York brought in about $2 million for the victims of his $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

In 2011, The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge by 26 states to President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law.

Also in 2011, Egyptian activists threatened a "new revolution" if the ruling military junta did not withdraw a proposal to remove parliamentary oversight of the military.

A thought for the day: Russian author Boris Pasternak wrote, "Life itself, the phenomenon of life, the gift of life, is so breathtakingly serious."

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