The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 30, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 334h day of 2005 with 31 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in 1508; Irish satirist Jonathan Swift in 1667; novelist Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) in 1835; British statesman Winston Churchill in 1874; actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in 1923 (age 82); Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1924; actor Richard Crenna in 1927; producer/TV music show host Dick Clark in 1929 (age 76); Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy in 1930 (age 75); 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in 1936; actor Robert Guillaume, filmmaker Ridley Scott and singer Paul Stookey, all in 1937 (age 68); playwright David Mamet in 1947 (age 58); singer/actor Mandy Patinkin in 1952 (age 53); rock singer Billy Idol in 1955 (age 50); and actor Ben Stiller in 1965 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1731, a series of earthquakes struck China. More than 100,000 people died.

In 1782, preliminary peace articles formally ending the American Revolutionary War were signed in Paris.

In 1913, Charles Chaplin made his screen debut in Mack Sennett's short film "Making A Living."

In 1939, the Russo-Finnish War started after the Soviet Union failed to obtain territorial concessions from Finland.

In 1975, Israel pulled its forces out of a 93-mile-long corridor along the Gulf of Suez as part of an interim peace agreement with Egypt.

In 1988, the Soviet Union stopped jamming broadcasts of Radio Free Europe for the first time in 30 years.

In 1989, rebels launched a fifth major coup attempt against Philippine President Corazon Aquino.

Also in 1989, Czechoslovakia announced an end to travel restrictions and said it planned to dismantle some of the fortifications along the Austrian border.

In 1990, the three Baltic republics -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- had an historic joint parliamentary session to plot their common course.

In 1993, Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in the Gaza Strip in an effort to end violence that threatened the peace accord.

In 1997, the government of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic resigned after Klaus's Civic Democratic Party was accused of accepting contributions from foreign sources.

In 2003, the U.S. government reported 104 coalition troops, including 79 Americans, died in the Iraq war during November.

Also in 2003, the World Health Organization in Geneva unveiled a historic plan to treat 3 million impoverished AIDS sufferers by the end of 2005.

In 2004, reports say flash floods and landslides killed more than 300 people in the storm-swept Philippines.

Also in 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross charged that the U.S. military intentionally abused prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

And, Tom Ridge, the nation's first Homeland Security secretary announced his resignation.

A thought for the day: Irish satirist Jonathan Swift wrote, "I never saw, heard, nor read that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular but some degree of persecution."

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