The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2013 with 72 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include English astronomer and architect Christopher Wren in 1632; French poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1854; James Robert Mann, Illinois congressman and author of the "White Slave Traffic Act," also known as the "Mann Act," in 1856; educator John Dewey in 1859; composer Charles Ives in 1874; actors Bela Lugosi ("Dracula") and Margaret Dumont, both in 1882; musician Jelly Roll Morton in 1885; mystery writer Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay) in 1905; TV personality Arlene Francis in 1907; longtime Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard in 1910; game show contestant and psychologist Joyce Brothers in 1927; country singer Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones in 1913; humorist Art Buchwald in 1925; baseball Hall of Fame members Mickey Mantle in 1931 and Juan Marichal in 1937 (age 76); actors William Christopher in 1932 (age 81), Jerry Orbach in 1935, Earl Hindman in 1942 and Viggo Mortensen in 1958 (age 55); poet Robert Pinsky in 1940 (age 73); writer Lewis Grizzard in 1946; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty in 1950 (age 63); film director Danny Boyle in 1956 (age 57); political commentator Michelle Malkin in 1970 (age 43); rapper Snoop Dogg in 1971 (age 42); and actor John Krasinski in 1979 (age 34).


On this date in history:

In 1818, the United States and Britain agreed to establish the 49th parallel as the official boundary between the United States and Canada.

In 1918, Germany accepted U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's terms to end World War I.

In 1944, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippines Islands when he landed with U.S. forces during World War II.

In 1947, the U.S. House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee opened public hearings into alleged communist influence in Hollywood.

In 1973, during the Watergate scandal, U.S. President Richard Nixon dismissed two officials for refusing to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. The incident became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre."

In 1977, members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines, were killed in plane crash.

In 1982, the world's worst soccer disaster occurred in Moscow when 340 fans were crushed to death in an open staircase during a match between Soviet and Dutch players.

In 1992, one of Europe's leading environmentalists, Germany's Greens Party founder Petra Kelly, was found shot to death by her companion, Gert Bastian, who committed suicide.


In 1994, Hollywood heavyweight Burt Lancaster died at the age of 80.

In 2000, a former U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty to joining in a terrorist plot against the United States, linking Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2004, retired Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's sixth president after winning the country's first direct elections for head of state.

In 2005, Pakistan set the official death toll of an Oct. 8 quake at 47,000 but various aid officials said it was closer to 80,000. Three million people were reported without shelter.

In 2010, more than 1 million ballots in the Afghan parliamentary election were disqualified for fraud, electoral officials said two days after the vote.

In 2011, deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was killed as he tried to escape from his hometown hideout in the coastal city of Sirte while troops, including NATO forces, closed in. Gadhafi, 69, ousted from power in a massive revolt two months earlier, had ruled Libya for 42 years.

In 2012, opposition activists in Syria said the bodies of more than 75 people, mostly women, children and elderly people, many showing signs of torture, were found in the city of Deir Ezzor.


A thought for the day: American Red Cross founder Clara Barton said, "The surest test of discipline is its absence."

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