The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2013 with 41 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include botanist John Merle Coulter in 1851; Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, first commissioner of baseball, in 1866; Norman Thomas, six times the Socialist Party candidate for U.S. president, in 1884; astronomer Edwin Hubble in 1889; "Dick Tracy" creator Chester Gould in 1900; TV commentator Alistair Cooke in 1908; singer/actor Judy Canova in 1916; U.S. Sens. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., in 1917 and Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., in 1925; actors Kaye Ballard in 1925 (age 88) and Estelle Parsons in 1927 (age 86); actor/TV game show host Richard Dawson in 1932; musician and comedian Dick Smothers of the Smothers Brothers in 1939 (age 74); U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in 1942 (age 71); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Duane Allman in 1946 and Joe Walsh in 1947 (age 66); former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton in 1948 (age 65); and actors Veronica Hamel in 1943 (age 70), Richard Masur in 1948 (age 65), Bo Derek in 1956 (age 57), Sean Young in 1959 (age 54) and Ming-Na Wen in 1963 (age 50).


On this date in history:

In 1272, Edward I was proclaimed King of England.

In 1780, Britain declared war on Holland.

In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

In 1943, the Battle of Tarawa-Makin began, marking the start of the U.S. World War II offensive against Japan in the Central Pacific.

In 1945, 24 German leaders went on trial at Nuremberg before the International War Crimes Tribunal.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II of England, married Philip Mountbatten.

In 1975, Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain died.

In 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced U.S. Marines would go to Lebanon to assist in the evacuation of PLO fighters.

In 1986, the World Health Organization announced a coordinated global effort against AIDS.

In 1992, fire erupted at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's official residence west of London, causing much damage. The queen and Prince Andrew helped save priceless artworks and other valuables kept in the castle.

In 1993, the U.S. Senate approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In 2002, on the eve of a NATO summit, U.S. President George W. Bush called for a "coalition of the willing" to help the United States disarm Iraq if necessary.


In 2007, Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian prime minister who led his South African white-minority government through a violence-wracked era until the end of white rule in 1979, died at 88 after a long illness.

In 2009, Hamid Karzai was sworn in to begin his second five-year term as president of Afghanistan, vowing his army would have full control of the country's security by the time he leaves office.

In 2010, the Federal Drug Administration banned the U.S. sale of popular painkillers Darvon and Darvocet and other drugs containing the ingredient propoxyphene because of what the FDA said was new proof of heart-problem side effects.

In 2012, Church of England elders, in a close vote, decided not to allow women to become bishops. The issue, hotly debated in the Anglican Church, cannot come up for a vote again until 2015.

A thought for the day: short story writer and poet Raymond Carver said: "Maybe I just don't understand poetry. I admit it's not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read."

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