The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Tuesday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2013 with 28 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 Sagittarius. They include presidential portrait painter Gilbert Stuart in 1755; Civil War-era Gen. George B. McClellan in 1826; U.S. Weather Bureau meteorologist Cleveland Abbe, who initiated daily weather bulletins, in 1838; English novelist Joseph Conrad in 1857; Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, in 1925; pioneer country singer Ferlin Husky, also in 1925; singer Andy Williams in 1927; French film director Jean-Luc Godard in 1930 (age 83); former race car driver Bobby Allison in 1937 (age 76); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ozzy Osbourne in 1948 (age 65); former race car driver Rick Mears in 1951 (age 62); Olympic gold medal skier Franz Klammer in 1953 (age 60); actors Mel Smith in 1952 and Daryl Hannah and Julianne Moore, both in 1960 (age 53); Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt in 1965 (age 48); and actors Brendan Fraser in 1968 (age 45), Brian Bonsall in 1981 (age 32) and Amanda Seyfried in 1985 (age 28).


On this date in history:

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state in the United States.

In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio opened with an enrollment of 29 men and 15 women, the nation's first truly coeducational college.

In 1929, the Ford Motor Co. raised the pay of its employees from $5 to $7 a day despite the collapse of the U.S. stock market.

In 1948, the first news of the Whittaker Chambers spy case disclosed that microfilm of secret U.S. documents was found in a pumpkin on the former magazine editor's Maryland farm, allegedly for delivery to a communist nation.

In 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant at Cape Town, South Africa.

In 1984, poison gas leaked at a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, killing 2,889 people. It was world's deadliest chemical disaster.

In 1992, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to authorize a U.S.-led multinational force to Somalia.

In 1997, delegates from 131 countries met in Canada to sign the Convention on the Prohibition, Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines.

In 2001, responding to a new wave of Palestinian suicide bombings, Israel struck the West Bank with planes, helicopter gunships, tanks and bulldozers, firing missiles into Yasser Arafat's headquarters.


In 2003, an international court in Tanzania convicted three Rwandan media executives of genocide for inciting a 1984 killing spree by machete-wielding gangs accused of slaughtering about 800,000 Tutsis.

In 2004, the death toll from a series of storms in the Philippines stood at 568, with hundreds missing.

In 2006, Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. foreign policy, was re-elected president of Venezuela.

In 2009, Comcast, the largest cable operator in the United States, bought 51 percent of NBC Universal from General Electric for $13.75 billion.

In 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney, commenting on a U.S. warning that Syria must not cross a "red line" and use chemical weapons, said: "The [Bashar] Assad regime must know that the world is watching and that they will be held accountable by the United States and the international community if they use chemical weapons or fail to meet their obligations to secure them."

A thought for the day: Robert F. Kennedy said, "The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better."

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