The almanac

By United Press International   |   Nov. 17, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Nov. 17, the 322nd day of 2012 with 44 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include King Louis XVIII of France in 1755; German astronomer and mathematician August Mobius in 1790; social reformer Grace Abbott in 1878; British army Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in 1887; drama teacher/actor Lee Strasberg in 1901; historian Shelby Foote in 1916; actor Rock Hudson in 1925; two-time Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bob Mathias in 1930; British comedian Peter Cook in 1937; balladeer Gordon Lightfoot in 1938 (age 74); film director Martin Scorsese in 1942 (age 70); model/actor Lauren Hutton in 1943 (age 69); actor/director Danny DeVito, "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels, baseball Hall of Fame member Tom Seaver and basketball Hall of Fame member Jim Boeheim, all in 1944 (age 68); U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 1949 (age 63); actor Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in 1958 (age 54); model/actor RuPaul in 1960 (age 52); U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in 1964 (age 48); actors Daisy Fuentes in 1966 (age 46) and Rachel McAdams in 1978 (age 34); and writer Christopher Paolini in 1983 (age 29).

On this date in history:

In 1734, John Peter Zenger, who founded America's first regularly published newspaper, was arrested for allegedly libeling the colonial governor of New York.

In 1800, the U.S. Congress convened in Washington for the first time.

In 1869, the Suez Canal in Egypt was opened, linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

In 1881, Samuel Gompers organized the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor.

In 1969, strategic arms limitation talks began between the United States and the Soviet Union in Helsinki, Finland.

In 1989, riot police in Prague, Czechoslovakia, stormed into a crowd of more than 20,000 pro-democracy demonstrators, beating people with truncheons and firing tear gas.

In 1992, an appeals court in Washington ruled the Watergate tapes and Nixon presidential papers rightfully belonged to U.S. President Richard Nixon when he left office in 1974.

In 1993, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 1997, 60 people were killed when six Islamic militants opened fire on a group of tourists at Luxor, Egypt.

In 2003, accused Washington sniper John Muhammad was convicted of capital murder by a jury in Virginia Beach, Va., and sentenced to die. He was executed Nov. 10, 2009.

In 2004, Pakistani authorities announced an Islamic militant wanted in connection with the killing of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl had died in a shootout with police.

In 2005, U.S. Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a decorated Vietnam veteran and ranking Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Committee who supported the 2003 invasion, called for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved marketing of silicone gel-filled breast implants, ending a 14-year moratorium on the devices.

In 2007, at least 30 bodies wrapped in black plastic and dead for some time were found in a mass grave at a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad.

In 2009, U.S. residents were almost evenly divided over efforts in Congress to reform the country's healthcare system with 48 percent for the changes and 49 percent against, a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicated.

In 2010, General Motors, the giant U.S. automaker aided by a controversial government bailout and after wading through bankruptcy, resumed stock market trading following an initial public offering raised more than $20 billion in common and preferred shares on stronger than expected investor demand.

In 2011, the number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits dipped for the third consecutive week, breaking another seven-month low. About 388,000 people filed for initial jobless t benefits in the week ended Nov. 12, the U.S. Labor Department said. It marked the lowest level since April 2.

A thought for the day: As radio comic Jane Ace put it, "Time wounds all heels."

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