The almanac

By United Press International  |  Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2013 with 74 to follow.

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

Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include toy company founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz in 1836; French philosopher Henri Bergson in 1859; novelist Fannie Hurst in 1889; singer/actor Lotte Lenya in 1898; former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and singer Anita O'Day, both in 1919; former Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., in 1921; Greek actor Melina Mercouri in 1920; rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry in 1926 (age 87); sports broadcaster Keith Jackson in 1928 (age 85); actors Klais Kinski in 1926, George C. Scott in 1927, Inger Stevens in 1934, Peter Boyle in 1935 and Dawn Wells in 1938 (age 75); Lee Harvey Oswald, assumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in 1939; football Hall of Fame member Mike Ditka in 1939 (age 74); singer-songwriter Laura Nyro in 1947; actors Joe Morton in 1947 (age 66) and Pam Dawber in 1951 (age 62); playwright Wendy Wasserstein in 1950; writer Terry McMillan in 1951 (age 62); tennis Hall of Fame member Martina Navratilova in 1956 (age 57); musician Wynton Marsalis in 1961 (age 52); actors Jean-Claude Van Damme and Erin Moran, both in 1960 (age 53); recording artist Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, in 1979 (age 34); Olympic gold medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn in 1984 (age 29); actor Zac Efron in 1987 (age 26); and television personality Bristol Palin in 1990 (age 23).

On this day in history:

In 1776, the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was established. Dubbed the "Mason-Dixon" line, it became the unofficial boundary between North and South.

In 1851, "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville was published.

In 1898, the United States took control of Puerto Rico one year after Spain had granted self-rule to the Caribbean nation.

In 1922, the British Broadcasting Corp. was established.

In 1925, Grand Ole Opry opened in Nashville.

In 1931, Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, died in West Orange, N.J., at the age of 84.

In 1959, the Soviet Union announced an unmanned space vehicle had taken the first pictures of the far side of the moon.

In 1974, the jury in the Watergate coverup trial heard a tape recording in which U.S. President Richard Nixon told aide John Dean to try to stop the Watergate burglary investigation before it implicated White House personnel.

In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered an investigation of a CIA handbook for Nicaraguan rebels that suggested assassination as a political tactic.

In 1991, Israel and the Soviet Union agreed to renew full diplomatic relations for the first time since 1967.

In 1992, numerous civilians were killed or wounded when Serbian forces unleashed a citywide artillery barrage on Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 2002, North Korea revealed it was working on a secret nuclear weapons program. U.S. intelligence officials concluded critical equipment for it came from Pakistan.

In 2004, exhumation orders were issued for 42 bodies in Sonthofen, Germany, where a hospital orderly admitted to giving lethal injections to 16 patients.

In 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned home after eight years in exile to triumphant fanfare that gave way to panic when a suicide bomber killed 139 people in her convoy. She wasn't hurt.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI canonized six saints, including the first from Canada and Australia.

In 2011, Gilad Shalit, a 25-year-old Israeli soldier kidnapped by the militant Palestinian group Hamas in a high-profile incident, was freed after being held for more than five years. His release came in exchange for 1,000 Palestinians who had spent years in Israeli jails.

In 2012, the number of people to pass through the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France passed the 300 million mark. The 31-mile tunnel beneath the English Channel opened in 1994.

A thought for the day: French author George Sand (Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin) said, "Simplicity is the essence of the great, the true and the beautiful in art."

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