The almanac

By United Press International  |  Dec. 4, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2013 with 27 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 Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle in 1795; English novelist Samuel Butler in 1835; actor/singer Lillian Russell in 1861; Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1892; U.S. Marines fighter ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington in 1912; actor Deanna Durbin in 1921; game show host Wink Martindale in 1934 (age 79); actors Max Baer Jr. in 1937 (age 76), Jeff Bridges in 1949 (age 64), Patricia Wettig in 1951 (age 62) and Marisa Tomei in 1964 (age 49); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Dennis Wilson (the Beach Boys) and Chris Hillman (the Byrds) (age 69), both in 1944; writer A. Scott Berg in 1949 (age 64); Olympic gold medal pole vaulter Sergey Bubka in 1963 (age 50); news commentator Suzanne Malveaux in 1966 (age 47); rapper Jay-Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, in 1969 (age 44) and model and television personality Tyra Banks in 1973 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1881, the Los Angeles Times published its first edition.

In 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered liquidation of the Works Progress Administration, created during the Great Depression to provide work for the unemployed.

In 1954, the first Burger King fast-food restaurant opened in Miami.

In 1971, India joined East Pakistan in its war for independence from West Pakistan. East Pakistan became the republic of Bangladesh.

In 1991, American Terry Anderson was freed by his pro-Iranian captors after six years.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered U.S. troops into Somalia.

In 1997, health officials in Europe voted to ban most forms of advertising of tobacco beginning in four to five years.

In 2003, an especially virulent strain of the flu hit the United States, starting mostly in the West, with Colorado reporting more than 6,300 cases and the deaths of five children.

In 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin urged Hurricane Katrina evacuees to return but many were reported skeptical about what they would find there.

In 2006, John Bolton resigned as U.S. envoy to the United Nations. He had been a harsh critic of U.N. bureaucracy.

In 2010, Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in for another term in defiance of a U.N. determination that his opponent, Alassane Quattara, who also was sworn in, had won a runoff election "with absolute certainty."

In 2012, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, responding to a challenge to survive on food stamps, began a week of spending less than $5 a day on food -- posting his grocery receipts on Facebook and Twitter. "This is hard," Booker said.

A thought for the day: Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle said, "A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one."

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