The almanac

By United Press International  |  Nov. 14, 2007 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 14, the 318th day of 2007 with 47 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, in 1765; French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, in 1840; Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru in 1889; Mamie Doud Eisenhower, wife of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, in 1896; U.S. composer Aaron Copland in 1900; singers Morton Downey in 1901 and Johnny Desmond in 1920; actor Dick Powell in 1904; U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, D-Wis., in 1908; actress Veronica Lake in 1919; former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1922 (age 85); actors Brian Keith in 1921 and McLean Stevenson in 1927; astronaut Edward White, killed in the 1967 Apollo I launch pad fire, in 1930; King Hussein of Jordan in 1935; Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in 1948 (age 59); New Age singer/songwriter Yanni in 1954 (age 53); and actress Laura San Giacomo in 1962 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1666, the first blood transfusion took place in London. Blood from one dog was transfused into another.

In 1832, the first horse-drawn streetcar made its appearance in New York City.

In 1889, newspaper reporter Nellie Bly set off to break the fictional record of voyaging around the world in 80 days set by Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg. She made the trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.

In 1926, the NBC radio network made its debut.

In 1940, German planes bombed Coventry, England, destroying or damaging 69,000 buildings.

In 1972, for the first time in its 76-year history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 1,000.

In 1984, former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon went to court in New York with a $50 million libel suit against Time magazine. He lost after a two-month trial.

In 1986, the White House acknowledged the CIA role in secretly shipping weapons to Iran.

In 1988, the PLO proclaimed an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, endorsing a renunciation of terrorism and an implicit recognition of Israel.

In 1990, a gunman in Dunedin, New Zealand, killed 11 neighbors, then was killed by police in the nation's worst mass slaying at that time. A 12th victim died later.

In 1991, U.S. and British officials accused two Libyan agents in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in which 270 people died.

In 1993, in a referendum, residents of Puerto Rico voted in favor of continuing their U.S. commonwealth status.

In 1994, the 31-mile Chunnel Tunnel under the English Channel opened to passenger traffic between England and France.

In 2001, U.S. House of Representatives and Senate negotiators working on ways to beef up airport security voted to have federal workers screen luggage.

In 2002, Iraq told the United Nations it accepted -- without condition or special requests -- the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the return of weapons inspectors to Baghdad.

In 2003, an Alabama jury ordered Exxon Mobil to pay the state $11.8 billion in damages relating to gas royalties for offshore drilling projects. The jury also awarded compensatory damages of $63.6 million.

In 2004, Iraqi authorities were reported to have fired thousands of police officers and taken over the recruiting of new policemen.

In 2005, private U.S. donations to victims of Hurricane Katrina were reported to be near the $2.7 billion mark in 11 weeks, close to the record $2.8 billion said to have gone to Sept. 11, 2001, charities.

Also in 2005, North Korea reportedly proposed a five-step plan to give up its nuclear weapons program but officials said the plan appeared to depend on certain aid demands.

In 2006, all of the hostages seized from the Ministry of Higher Education in Baghdad were reported released in a series of police raids.

Also in 2006, a German chemist went on trial in Mannheim, Germany, on charges of denying the World War II Holocaust killed millions of Jews and others in Auschwitz gas chambers. Germar Rudolf called the Holocaust “a giant fraud.” Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.

A thought for the day: Russian author Boris Pasternak wrote, "Life itself, the phenomenon of life, the gift of life, is so breathtakingly serious."

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