This is Thursday, Dec. 1, the 335th day of 2011 with 30 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and Venus. Evening stars are Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Sagittarius. They include wax figure sculptor Marie Tussaud in 1761; detective novelist Rex Stout in 1886; former United Mine Workers president W.A. "Tony" Boyle in 1904; baseball Hall of Fame member Walter Alston in 1911; singer/actor Mary Martin in 1913; soul singer Lou Rawls in 1933; comedian/filmmaker Woody Allen in 1935 (age 76); golf Hall of Fame member Lee Trevino in 1939 (age 72); comedian Richard Pryor in 1940; rock n' roll Hall of Fame member John Densmore (The Doors) in 1944 (age 67); singer/actor Bette Midler in 1945 (age 66); actor Treat Williams in 1951 (age 60); model Carol Alt in 1960 (age 51); comedian Sarah Silverman in 1970 (age 41).
On this date in history:
In 1891, the game of basketball was invented when James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass., put peach baskets at the opposite ends of the gym and gave students soccer balls to toss into them.
In 1903, the world's first drive-in gasoline station opened for business in Pittsburgh.
In 1917, the Rev. Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town near Omaha.
In 1943, ending a "Big Three" meeting in Tehran, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian Premier Josef Stalin pledged a concerted effort to defeat Nazi Germany.
In 1953, the first Playboy magazine was published. Marilyn Monroe was on the cover.
In 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus, signaling, along with its resulting bus boycott and related events, the birth of the modern civil rights movement.
In 2004, one dozen people were killed in a prison riot and shootouts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
In 2005, same-sex marriage became legal in South Africa when the country's Constitutional Court ruled that laws banning it were unconstitutional.
In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush proclaimed Dec. 1 World AIDS Day and urged all Americans to join in the fight against the disease.
Also in 2006, the British government decided on a near total indoor public smoking ban in England. Only private homes and hotel rooms were exempt.
In 2007, a methane gas explosion injured 52 miners at the underground Ukraine coal mine where 101 miners died in a blast two weeks earlier.
In 2008, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 680 points after the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the United States has been in recession since December 2007 and the release of a report indicating that U.S. manufacturing hit a 26-year low.
Also in 2008, President-elect Barack Obama introduced Hillary Clinton, his chief rival in the Democratic presidential race, as his choice for secretary of state. He also said he wanted to retain Robert Gates as secretary of defense.
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced he was sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, raising the number of military personnel there to 100,000. His plan called also for troop removal to begin in July 2011.
In 2010, the Obama administration announced that it would extend the moratorium on offshore drilling off the Eastern Gulf Coast and along the Atlantic Coast until stricter environmental and safety regulations were implemented.
Also in 2010, In a gloomy forecast, the United Nations projected 3.1 percent economic growth worldwide in 2011 and a 3.5 percent rise in 2012. The report said that wasn't enough to solve the jobs problem which saw at least 30 million jobs evaporate from 2007-09.
A thought for the day: it was Ezra Pound who said, "Literature is news that stays news." (c) UPI