Today is Wednesday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2017 with 74 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mars and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this day are under the sign of Libra. They include toy company founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz in 1836; novelist Fannie Hurst in 1889; former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1919; singer Anita O'Day in 1919; Greek actor Melina Mercouri in 1920; rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry in 1926; sports broadcaster Keith Jackson in 1928 (age 89); actor Peter Boyle in 1935; actor Dawn Wells in 1938 (age 79); Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in 1939; football Hall of Fame member Mike Ditka in 1939 (age 78); composer Howard Shore in 1946 (age 71); singer-songwriter Laura Nyro in 1947; actor Joe Morton in 1947 (age 70); playwright Wendy Wasserstein in 1950; actor Pam Dawber in 1951 (age 66); writer Terry McMillan in 1951 (age 66); tennis Hall of Fame member Martina Navratilova in 1956 (age 61); musician Wynton Marsalis in 1961 (age 56); actor Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1960 (age 57); actor Erin Moran in 1960; recording artist Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, in 1979 (age 38); Olympic gold medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn in 1984 (age 33); conservative writer and speaker Milo Yiannopoulos in 1984 (age 33); actor Freida Pinto in 1984 (age 33); actor Zac Efron in 1987 (age 30); television personality Bristol Palin in 1990 (age 27); WNBA star Brittney Griner in 1990 (age 27); actor Tyler Posey in 1991 (age 26).
On this day in history:
In 1776, the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was established. Dubbed the "Mason-Dixon" line, it became the unofficial boundary between North and South.
In 1851, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was published. A small band of Herman Melville devotees orated their way through the 135-chapter opus, which took 22 hours and 38 minutes to complete.
In 1867, the United States completed its purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million, taking possession of the territory from Russia. It would be 92 years before Alaska was admitted to the Union.
In 1898, the United States took control of Puerto Rico one year after Spain had granted self-rule to the Caribbean nation.
In 1922, the British Broadcasting Corp. was established.
In 1925, Grand Ole Opry opened in Nashville.
In 1931, Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, died in West Orange, N.J., at the age of 84.
In 1959, the Soviet Union announced that Luna 3, an unmanned space vehicle, had taken the first pictures of the far side of the moon. In 1987, a former Mexican spy claimed his intelligence unit stole the Soviet satellite while it was on tour in Mexico in 1959, providing the United States with valuable intelligence.
In 1974, the jury in the Watergate cover-up trial heard a tape recording in which U.S. President Richard Nixon told aide John Dean to try to stop the Watergate burglary investigation before it implicated White House personnel.
In 1991, Israel and the Soviet Union agreed to renew full diplomatic relations for the first time since 1967.
In 2002, North Korea revealed it was working on a secret nuclear weapons program. U.S. intelligence officials concluded critical equipment for it came from Pakistan.
In 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned home after eight years in exile to triumphant fanfare that gave way to panic when a suicide bomber killed more than 140 people in her convoy. She wasn't hurt in that attack but was assassinated on Dec. 27 of that year in Rawalpindi.
In 2011, Gilad Shalit, a 25-year-old Israeli soldier kidnapped by the militant Palestinian group Hamas in a high-profile incident, was freed after being held for more than five years. His release came in exchange for 1,000 Palestinians who had spent years in Israeli jails.
In 2012, the number of people to pass through the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France passed the 300 million mark. The 31-mile tunnel beneath the English Channel opened in 1994.
In 2013, tens of thousands of commuters were stranded in the San Francisco area by the second Bay Area Rapid Transit strike of the year. It lasted four days.
A thought for the day: "If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week." -- Charles Darwin