UPI Almanac for Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

On Nov. 11, 1982, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off on the first commercial space mission.
By United Press International  |  Nov. 11, 2017 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Saturday, Nov. 11, the 315th day of 2017 with 50 to follow.

This is Veterans Day in the United States.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mars and Venus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Abigail Adams, wife of U.S. President John Adams, in 1744; Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1821; U.S. Army Gen. George Patton in 1885; baseball Hall of Fame member Walter "Rabbit" Maranville in 1891; novelist Kurt Vonnegut in 1922; jazz musician Mose Allison in 1927; golfer Frank "Fuzzy" Zoeller in 1951 (age 66); actor Stanley Tucci in 1960 (age 57); actor Demi Moore in 1962 (age 55); actor Philip McKeon in 1964 (age 53); actor Calista Flockhart in 1964 (age 53); actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 1974 (age 43); actor Tye Sheridan in 1996 (age 21).

On this date in history:

In 1831, Nat Turner, who led fellow slaves on a bloody uprising in Virginia, was hanged. Turner, an educated minister, believed he was chosen by God to lead people out of slavery.

In 1889, Washington was admitted to the union as the 42nd state.

In 1918, World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, in a railroad car in a forest in France.

In 1921, U.S. President Warren Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. It is commonly called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many countries have similarly named memorials.

In 1938, Kate Smith first performed "God Bless America" on her weekly radio show. The song had been written for her by Irving Berlin.

In 1945, composer Jerome Kern, who wrote such memorable tunes as "Ol' Man River," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris," died at the age of 60.

In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off on the first commercial space mission.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Anthony Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court after Judge Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his nomination and Judge Robert Bork was rejected by the Senate. Kennedy joined the court in February 1988.

In 1989, an estimated 1 million East Germans poured into reopened West Germany for a day of celebration, visiting and shopping. Most returned home.

In 1992, the Church of England broke the tradition of a male-only clergy when it voted to allow the ordination of women as priests.

In 2000, a fire on a cable car taking skiers up an Austrian mountain caught fire, killing 155 people. Twelve people survived the blaze, which erupted while the car was inside a tunnel.

In 2001, two months after terrorist attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush and leaders from around the world stood near the World Trade Center ruins and, in a solemn ceremony, honored the dead from more than 80 nations.

In 2004, Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader whose career ranged from terrorist to diplomat, a key figure in the forever smoldering Middle East, died in a Paris hospital after several days in a coma. He was 75.

In 2005, Harvard-educated Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, dubbed the "Iron Lady," claimed electoral victory and became the first woman president of Liberia.

In 2006, an anonymous tip led investigators to a mass grave in Bosnia containing more than 100 victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

In 2011, Mexican Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora, point man in the government's war against organized crime and drug cartels, was among eight people killed in a helicopter crash in southern Mexico City.

A thought for the day: "To the veterans of the United States of America: Thank you for the cost you paid for our freedom, thank you for the freedom to live in safety and pursue happiness, for freedom of speech ... and for all the freedoms that we daily take for granted." -- author Sara Niles (Josephine Thompson)

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