The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Saturday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2013 with 80 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Elmer Sperry, who devised practical uses for the gyroscope, in 1860; English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1872; baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Cronin in 1906; comedian and activist Dick Gregory in 1932 (age 81); opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti and R&B singer Sam Moore (age 78), both in 1935; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and Temptations singing group member Melvin Franklin in 1942; TV correspondent Chris Wallace in 1947 (age 66); singer/actor Susan Anton in 1950 (age 63); actors Hugh Jackman and Adam Rich, both in 1968 (age 45) and Kirk Cameron in 1970 (age 43); country music musician Martie Maguire (the Dixie Chicks) in 1969 (age 44); track star Marion Jones in 1975 (age 38); and Olympic gold medal-winning skier Bode Miller in 1977 (age 36).


On this date in history:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus reached America, making his first landing in the New World on one of the Bahamas Islands. Columbus thought he had reached India.

In 1899, the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State in southern Africa declared war on the British. The Boer War was ended May 31, 1902, by the Treaty of Vereeniging.

In 1915, British nurse Edith Cavell, 49, was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium in World War I.

In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev removed one of his shoes and pounded it on his desk during a speech before the United Nations.

In 1964, the Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 into orbit around Earth, with three cosmonauts aboard. It was the first spacecraft to carry a multi-person crew and the two-day mission was also the first orbital flight performed without spacesuits.

In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan for the vice presidency to replace Spiro Agnew, who had resigned two days earlier.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped injury in the bombing of a hotel in Brighton, England. Four people were killed in the attack, blamed on the Irish Republican Army.


In 1992, an earthquake near Cairo killed more than 500 people, injured thousands and toppled buildings.

In 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man, died five days after he was beaten, robbed and left tied to a fence. The U.S. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is often called the "Matthew Shepard Act."

In 1999, the elected government of Pakistan was overthrown in an apparently bloodless military coup. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and several other leaders were arrested.

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in an explosion on the USS Cole as it refueled in Yemen. U.S. President Bill Clinton blamed the attack on al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In 2002, a bomb exploded near two crowded night clubs on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people.

In 2005, newly released documents charged that the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles allegedly shielded priests accused of sexual abuse by moving them from one parish to another.

In 2010, the U.S. government lifted a ban on deep-water oil and natural gas drilling for companies that obey stricter rules aimed at avoiding a repeat of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


In 2012, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the country's budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 was $1.089 trillion, $208 billion less than the 2011 deficit.

A thought for the day: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." -- Henry Ford

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