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On This Day: November 3

This is the 307th day of the year.

Fact of the Day: Ayers Rock

Ayers Rock is a giant red rock formation in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is the largest monolith in the world at 1,143 feet high and about 6 miles in circumference. The landmark, which the Aborigines call Uluru, is the outcrop of a huge bed of sandstone formed about 600 million years ago. The rock changes color according to the altitude of the Sun. The surface of Ayers Rock has paintings and carvings made thousands of years ago by the Aborigines, who believe the rock to be sacred. It is named for Sir Henry Ayers, who was the Premier of South Australia when the rock was first recorded. The rock is most impressive at sunset, when it is colored a fiery orange-red by the sun's rays. The buildings of the tourist resort near Ayers Rock are colored to blend in with the surrounding desert.

Holidays

Panama: National Day.

Feast day of St. Rumwald, St. Malachy of Armagh, St. Amicus, St. Winifred or Gwenfrewi, St. Martin de Porres, and St. Pirminus.

Dominica: Independence Day (from Great Britain 1978).

Japan: Culture Day.

Micronesia, Federated States of: Independence Day (from United States 1986).

Events

1493 - Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage, sighted Dominica in the West Indies.

1507 - Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint Lisa Gherardini, the "Mona Lisa."

1631 - The first Protestant missionary, Reverend John Eliot, arrived in Boston. He was the first to try to convert Native Americans to Christianity.

1794 - Thomas Paine was released from a Parisian jail with the help of U.S. ambassador James Monroe.

1839 - The first Opium War between China and Britain began.

1868 - Ulysses S. Grant was elected 18th President of the United States of America.

1883 - The U.S. Supreme Court declared Native American Indians to be "dependent aliens."

1896 - Republican William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan to become the 25th President of the United States of America.

1900 - The first U.S. automobile show was held at Madison Square Garden.

1903 - Panama proclaimed its independence from Colombia.

1908 - Republican William Howard Taft was elected President of the United States of America, defeating William Jennings Bryan.

1914 - Mary Phelps Jacob received the first patent for a brassiere. She marketed it under the name of Caresse Crosby.

1916 - Eugene O'Neill's first play debuted in New York City, the one-act "Bound East for Cardiff."

1927 - Turkey adopted the Roman alphabet or Latin alphabet, discontinuing the use of Arabic.

1936 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt won a landslide election victory over Republican challenger Alfred M. "Alf" Landon.

1942 - The Battle of El Alamein in the North African desert ended, with British field marshal Bernard Montgomery victorious. Nine thousand German and Italian soldiers were captured and the Axis fled Africa.

1957 - The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 with the dog Laika, the first living creature in space, on board.

1964 - President Lyndon Johnson defeated Republican Barry Goldwater in the election.

1969 - The Public Broadcasting System debuted when a few local educational TV channels united.

1975 - The North Sea pipeline, the first underwater pipeline, was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1979 - The Greensboro Massacre occurred: five members of the Communist Workers' Party, participating in an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, were shot to death in broad daylight by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis.

1986 - A Lebanese magazine, "Ash-Shiraa," reported that the United States had been secretly selling arms to Iran in hopes of securing the release of American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

1992 - Bill Clinton was elected 42nd President of the United States of America, defeating President George Bush.

1992 - Illinois Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

1998 - Former pro wrestler Jesse ("The Body) Ventura" was elected governor of Minnesota.

2004 - Hamid Karzai was officially declared the winner of Afghanistan's first presidential election.

2005 - Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, pleaded not guilty to a five-count felony indictment in the CIA leak case.

Births

1718 - John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich, inventor of the "sandwich" and for whom the Sandwich Islands of Hawaii are named.

1793 - Stephen Austin, American founder of Texas; capital city of Austin named for him.

1794 - William Cullen Bryant, American poet and editor.

1801 - Vincenzo Bellini, Italian operatic composer.

1801 - Karl Baedeker, German travel guidebook publisher.

1901 - Leopold III, Belgian king 1934-51.

1908 - Bronko Nagurski, pro football player and wrestler.

1952 - Rosanne Barr, American comedian.

1953 - Dennis Miller, American comedian, political and social commentator, and television personality.

1954 - Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard), an English pop singer of the 1980s.

Deaths

1926 - Annie Oakley, American markswoman and wild west show entertainer.

1949 - Solomon R. Guggenheim, American art collector and philanthropist.

1954 - Henri Matisse, French painter and leader of the Fauvist movement.

1998 - Bob Kane, American comic book artist and writer, creator of Batman.

2006 - Paul Mauriat, French orchestra leader, specializing in light music.







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