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 October 12, 2015 - 3:00 AM EDT
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The Almanac

Today is Monday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2015 with 80 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra. They include Elmer Sperry, who devised practical uses for the gyroscope, in 1860; English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1872; baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Cronin in 1906; comedian and activist Dick Gregory in 1932 (age 83); opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti and R&B singer Sam Moore (age 80), both in 1935; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Melvin Franklin of the Temptations singing group in 1942; TV correspondent Chris Wallace in 1947 (age 68); singer/actor Susan Anton in 1950 (age 65); actors Hugh Jackman and Adam Rich, both in 1968 (age 47) and Kirk Cameron in 1970 (age 45); country music musician Martie Maguire (the Dixie Chicks) in 1969 (age 46); track star Marion Jones in 1975 (age 40); and Olympic gold medal-winning skier Bode Miller in 1977 (age 38). On this date in history:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus reached America, making his first landing in the New World on one of the Bahamas Islands. Columbus thought he had reached India.

In 1810, the citizens of Munich were invited to join in celebrating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig or Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in what would become the first Oktoberfest.

In 1915, British nurse Edith Cavell, 49, was executed by a German firing squad in Brussels for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium in World War I.

In 1933, the United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, otherwise known as The Rock, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice. Less than a year later, the prison would become home to some of the country's most notorious criminals.

In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev removed one of his shoes and pounded it on his desk during a speech before the United Nations.

In 1964, the Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 into orbit around Earth, with three cosmonauts aboard. It was the first spacecraft to carry a multi-person crew and the two-day mission was also the first orbital flight performed without spacesuits.

In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan for the vice presidency to replace Spiro Agnew, who had resigned two days earlier.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped injury in the bombing of a hotel in Brighton, England. Four people were killed in the attack, blamed on the Irish Republican Army.

In 1992, an earthquake near Cairo killed more than 500 people and injured thousands..

In 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man, died five days after he was beaten, robbed and left tied to a fence. (The U.S. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is often called the Matthew Shepard Act.)

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed and 39 wounded in an explosion on the USS Cole as it refueled in Yemen. U.S. President Bill Clinton blamed the attack on al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In 2002, terrorist bombings near two crowded nightclubs on the Indonesian island of Bali killed more than 200 people.

In 2010, the U.S. government lifted a ban on deep-water oil and natural gas drilling for companies that obey stricter rules aimed at avoiding a repeat of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2013, Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who wrote about immigrants adapting to a new culture and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his 1989 book The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, died in New York City at the age of 62.

A thought for the day: Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. -- Henry Ford

Source: United Press International (October 12, 2015 - 3:00 AM EDT)

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