The World Almanac E-Newsletter

Volume 05, Number 11 — November 2005

What's in this issue?

November Events
November Holidays — National and International
This Day In History — November
November Birthdays
Travel - South Beach: World Art Capital
Obituaries - October 2005
Special Feature: A Century of Sinn Féin
Chronology - Events of October 2005
Science in the News: Science in the News — Fly Me to the Moon
Offbeat News Stories
From The World Almanac — Social Reformers, Activists, and Humanitarians of the Past
Links of the Month
Quote of the Month
How to reach us

November Events

November is National AIDS Awareness Month, National American Indian Heritage Month, and American Diabetes Month

November 1 - Kite Festival of Santiago Sacatepequez (Guatemala)
November 4 - National Chicken Lady Day (Miami Shores, FL)
November 4-7 - Big 10 Women’s Soccer Tournament (Ohio State Univ., Columbus)
November 5-9 - National Trail Ride Gathering (Live Oak, FL)
November 6 - ING New York City Marathon
November 10-12 - Longhorn Championship Finals Rodeo (Murfreesboro, TN)
November 11-14 - Big 10 Men’s Soccer Championship (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
November 14-December 20 - Triple Crown of Surfing (Oahu, HI)
November 15 - America Recycles Day
November 17-27 - Quad City Arts Festival of Trees (Davenport, IA)
November 18 - Great American Smokeout
November 18-19 - Land of Mark Twain Bluegrass Music Festival (Hannibal, MO)
November 18-January 5, 2006 - Peddler’s Village Gingerbread House Competition and Display (Lahaska, PA)
November 19 - Elephant Round-Up at Surin (Thailand)
November 19-20 - Nordic Yulefest (Seattle, WA)
November 20 - Mother Goose Parade (El Cajon, CA)
November 21-26 - Canadian Western Agribition (Regina, Saskatchewan)
November 24 - Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York, NY)
November 24-26 - Daytona Turkey Run (Daytona Beach, FL)
November 25-26 - World’s Championship Duck-Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival (Stuttgart, AR)
November 26-December 4 - Guadalajara International Book Fair (Mexico)

November Holidays — National and International

November 1 - All Saints’ Day
November 2 - Día de los Muertos (Mexico); All Souls’ Day
November 3 - Eid al-Fitr
November 5 - Guy Fawkes Day (UK)
November 8 - Election Day (observed in some states)
November 11 - Veterans’ Day
November 15 - Shichi-Go-San (Japan)
November 24 - Thanksgiving Day
November 27 - First Sunday of Advent


Andre Tolme, a civil engineer from New Hampshire, completed a 1,234-mile golf round across Mongolia in 2004.

This Day In History — November

Day Year Event
Day Year Event
01 1848 The Boston Female Medical School opens, the first such school for women.
02 2003 The U.S. Episcopal Church consecrates Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, its first openly gay bishop.
03 1992 Bill Clinton is elected president over George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot.
04 1979 Militant followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini take 63 Americans hostage at the American embassy in Tehran, Iran.
05 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented 3d term as president, defeating Wendell Wilkie.
06 1999 In a national referendum, Australian voters choose, 55%-45%, to retain the British monarch as head of state.
07 1917 Bolshevik forces under Vladimir Lenin take power in Russia.
08 1895 Physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X rays.
09 1938 During Kristallnacht, mobs in Germany destroy thousands of Jewish shops, homes, and synagogues.
10 1983 Microsoft releases its Windows operating system.
11 1918 At 11 A.M. (on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year), hostilities cease in World War I after the Germans sign an armistice at Compiègne, France.
12 1918 After Charles I, the emperor of Austria-Hungary, abdicates, Austria and Hungary are proclaimed republics.
13 1839 Abolitionists meeting in Warsaw, NY, form the Liberty Party and nominate James Birney for president.
14 1972 The Dow Jones industrial average closes above 1,000 for the first time.
15 1994 Tennis champion Martina Navratilova plays her last game before retiring.
16 1933 The United States and the Soviet Union begin diplomatic relations.
17 1800 Congress meets for the first time in Washington, DC.
18 1987 A congressional report on the Iran-Contra affair finds that Pres. Ronald Reagan bears the "ultimate responsibility" for the actions of his aides.
19 1997 In Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey delivers live septuplets.
20 1945 The Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals begin in Germany.
21 1995 The Dow Jones industrial average passes 5,000 for the first time.
22 1963 Pres. John Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, TX. Vice Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as president.
23 1919 The first play-by-play of a football game is broadcast on the radio.
24 1995 Irish voters narrowly agree to end the Irish Republic's constitutional ban on divorce.
25 2002 Pres. Bush signs a bill creating the new Department of Homeland Security, and names Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as secretary.
26 1789 The U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving Day for the first time.
27 1965 Thousands of protesters demanding peace in Vietnam march in Washington, DC.
28 2001 Enron Corp., the largest U.S. energy trading company, collapses after smaller rival Dynegy backs out of a planned merger; employees and investors will lose billions of dollars as a result. The collapse is the first in a series of huge corporate scandals.
29 1929 Richard E. Byrd and Brent Balchen pilot the first flight over the South Pole.
30 1905 Tsar Nicholas II issues the October Manifesto in St. Petersburg, giving Russia a constitution, legislature, prime minister, and civil liberties.

November Birthdays

Day Year  
Day Year  
01 1960 Fernando Valenzuela, baseball pitcher (Navojoa, Mexico)
02 1953 Alfre Woodard, actress (Tulsa, OK)
03 1918 Bob Feller, baseball pitcher (Van Meter, IA)
04 1946 Laura Bush, First Lady (Midland, TX)
05 1941 Art Garfunkel, singer (New York, NY)
06 1955 Maria Shriver, TV journalist (Chicago, IL)
07 1918 Billy Graham, evangelist (Charlotte, NC)
08 1931 Morley Safer, TV journalist (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
09 1936 Mary Travers, singer (Louisville, KY)
10 1944 Tim Rice, lyricist (Amersham, England)
11 1922 Kurt Vonnegut Jr., novelist (Indianapolis, IN)
12 1961 Nadia Comaneci, Olympic champion gymnast (Romania)
13 1963 Vinny Testaverde, football player (New York, NY)
14 1948 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne (London, England)
15 1932 Petula Clark, singer (Surrey, England)
16 1935 Elizabeth Drew, journalist (Cincinnati, OH)
17 1930 Bob Mathias, Olympic decathlon champion and congressman (Tulane, CA)
18 1939 Margaret Atwood, author (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
19 1942 Calvin Klein, fashion designer (New York, NY)
20 1923 Nadine Gordimer, writer (Springs, South Africa)
21 1945 Goldie Hawn, actress (Washington, DC)
22 1943 Billie Jean King, champion tennis player (Long Beach, CA)
23 1945 Susan Anspach, actress (New York, NY)
24 1925 William F. Buckley Jr., columnist/author (New York, NY)
25 1920 Ricardo Montalban, actor (Mexico City, Mexico)
26 1939 Tina Turner, singer (Brownsville, TN)
27 1957 Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, author and daughter of President Kennedy (Boston, MA)
28 1908 Claude Lévi-Strauss, social anthropologist (Brussels, Belgium)
29 1918 Madeleine L'Engle, children's author (New York, NY)
30 1965 Ben Stiller, actor/director (New York, NY)

Travel - South Beach: World Art Capital

Miami Beach, a strip of Florida land skirting Miami just across Biscayne Bay, was once a site of mangrove swamps and faltering fruit plantations. Beginning early in the 20th century it metamorphosed into a resort community with miles of sandy beaches and countless hotels. It remains that, but it is also more. In the past couple of decades the southern portion - a stretch roughly 3 mi (5 km) long spiced with charmingly pastel Art Deco buildings and known as South Beach - has developed a vibrant nightlife attracting glitterati from across the U.S. and beyond. In addition to its nightclubs and sidewalk cafés, South Beach offers a cornucopia of shops, restaurants, and galleries. It also is the location of the huge Miami Beach Convention Center, which serves, among other things, as the chief venue for the annual affair known as Art Basel Miami Beach. This is one of the most important marketplaces today for modern and contemporary art. Collectors, dealers, galleries, curators, artists, and art lovers come from around the globe to meet, party, and do business. In 2005 the show was slated for December 1-4.

Art Basel Miami Beach was inaugurated in 2002 on the model of Switzerland's Art Basel, the world's premier contemporary art show, held in midyear. (The next Art Basel in Switzerland is to take place on June 14-18, 2006.) The Miami Beach show quickly became the most important art happening in the western hemisphere and a threat to surpass its Swiss older sister as No. 1 in the world. Embellishing the usual business of an international art show with special exhibitions, get-togethers, and events in such other arts as music, film, and architecture, Art Basel Miami Beach is for a few days in early December the place to be. In the words of the Los Angeles Times, "It's a classic art show. It's a funky happening on the beach. It's a hot social scene."

Representatives of nearly 200 galleries - some as far-flung as Shanghart Gallery in Shanghai, China; XL Gallery in Moscow, Russia; and Galerie Anhava in Helsinki, Finland - were scheduled to show up at the 2005 show, which was expected to include works by more than 2000 artists in such disparate sectors of the art world as painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, performance art, and digital art. Prices asked would fit a colossal range of budgets, running from a few hundred dollars to millions.

Among notable special sections at the 2005 show, Art Nova presents new work created within the past two years. Art Positions, housed in low-cost exhibition spaces made from shipping containers and located at Collins Park, features works from promising young galleries hard put to pay for space at the convention center. Art Positions also encompasses an innovation in 2005: Art Perform, with daily performances by world-famous artists. Art Video Lounge, located in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, across from the Convention Center, is a venue for video art. Art Projects - staged at Collins Park and various other sites in South Beach - presents works in public spaces. Another innovation in 2005 is Art Kabinett, in which 15 galleries are allowed separate rooms in which they can mount small curated exhibitions.

Many of those attending the big show will want to sample the offerings of the museums and other art institutions in the Miami/Miami Beach region, whose treasures of course will continue to be available for view long after Art Basel is over. A large segment of South Beach itself is an architectural delight - the area defined as the Art Deco Historic District contains hundreds of buildings from the Art Deco period, many of them restored in recent decades.

Also here is the Bass Museum, located in an Art Deco structure just a few blocks northeast of the convention center, which has a collection focusing on European Old Masters. The Wolfsonian, a division of Florida International University housed in a renovated Mediterranean-style warehouse south of the convention center, offers a quite different array of exhibits. Its holdings, numbering about 100,000 artifacts dating from the late 19th century to the mid 20th, explore decorative arts (including paintings, posters, postcards and brochures, political propaganda, and rare books) and their impact on and reflection of human experience.

The only museum in the area focusing exclusively on contemporary art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, is located a bit far afield, in North Miami Beach. A new annex, however, was scheduled to open at the beginning of December 2005, just in time for Art Basel, in Miami's Wynwood area, which has attracted a number of artists and galleries in recent years. Other sites of interest to art enthusiasts include the Miami Art Museum in downtown Miami, the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami in suburban Coral Gables, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a national historic landmark in Miami's Coconut Grove district.

Visit South Beach Online:


The world's largest known living tree, the General Sherman giant sequoia in California, weighs more than 6,167 tons--as much as 41 blue whales or 740 elephants.

Obituaries in October 2005

Ba Jin, 100, novelist and essayist considered the dean of modern Chinese literature; Shanghai, China, Oct.17, 2005.

Horn, Shirley, 71, Washington, D.C.-based jazz pianist and vocalist known for her mastery of slow tempos and unique phrasing of song lyrics; Cheverly, MD, Oct. 20, 2005.

Lopez, Al, 97, oldest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, enshrined in Cooperstown for his successful managerial career (after years as a catcher), during which he won pennants with the Cleveland Indians in 1954 and the White Sox in 1959; Tampa, FL, Oct. 30, 2005.

Mara, Wellington, 89, longtime owner of the National Football League’s New York Giants and one of the last members of the NFL’s founding generation of team owners, Rye, NY, Oct. 25, 2005.

Nye, Louis, 92, comedian and actor who became well-known as a regular on Steve Allen’s late 1950s TV variety show; Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 9, 2005.

Obote, Milton, 80, dictatorial president of Uganda deposed in 1971 by Idi Amin but restored to the presidency in 1980 and remaining in power until overthrown a second time in 1985; Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct. 10, 2005.

Parks, Rosa, 92, iconic figure of the U.S. civil rights movement whose refusal to surrender a seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, AL bus sparked the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott; Detroit, MI, Oct. 24, 2005.

Russell, Nipsey, 80, rhyming comedian who was the first black comic to appear regularly on U.S. television; New York, NY, Oct. 2, 2005.

Smalley, Richard E., 62, one of three chemists awarded the Nobel Prize in 1996 for their discovery of "buckminsterfullerenes," a previously unknown class of carbon molecules whose spherical shape was reminiscent of the geodesic dome invented by Buckminster Fuller; Houston, TX, Oct. 28, 2005.

Wilson, August, 60, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright renowned for his 10-drama cycle chronicling the black experience in America throughout the 20th century; Seattle, WA, Oct. 2, 2005.

Special Feature: A Century of Sinn Fein

Joe Gustaitis

One hundred years ago, on November 28, an Irish newspaperman and nationalist named Arthur Griffith promulgated his "Sinn Féin Policy," in which he declared that the union of Great Britain and Ireland was invalid. That day - November 28, 1905 - has since been considered by most historians to be the official birth date of Sinn Féin (Irish for "we ourselves"), the Irish nationalist organization that has played a prominent role in the triumphs and troubles of modern Irish history.

Arthur Griffith

Griffith was born in Dublin on March 31, 1872. At age 27 he co-established the newspaper United Irishman with his associate William Rooney, to which celebrated Irish writers such as Æ (George William Russell) and William Butler Yeats contributed. Griffith used his newspaper as an outlet for ardent editorials urging the Irish to work for self-government. He eschewed violence, and believed that Ireland should attempt to emulate Hungary, which went from being part of the Austrian Empire to being a separate co-equal kingdom in the Austria-Hungary dual monarchy. Griffith also believed that the Irish should have their own government and that Irish MPs should not attend the British Parliament. In 1902 he founded a group that later became the nucleus of Sinn Féin.

A Long, Troubled History

Because the islands of Britain and Ireland are situated so closely together, it was inevitable that the larger island would attempt to interfere in the affairs of the smaller. One of the first Britons to have an impact on Irish history was St. Patrick who was born in Britain and held as a slave in Ireland. Six years after his capture, he escaped to Gaul, where he was ordained a priest. He then returned to the land of his captivity in around 431, where, through his steadfast missionary work, he became known as the apostle of Ireland. He converted many of the pagan Irish to Christianity.

In 1169, Norman barons from Britain, with the backing of Henry II, invaded and seized several towns. Two years later, King Henry II arrived, and soon Norman aristocrats, followed by English settlers, were establishing great castles and estates in Ireland. To the dismay of subsequent English monarchs, many of the descendants of the most powerful Anglo-Norman settlers gradually became native, adopting the language, customs, and laws of the Irish people.

When Sir Edward Poynings (1459-1521) was Lord Deputy of Ireland, he issued a law that made the Irish Parliament dependent on the English monarch by stating that all legislation should be approved by the king. The concept of a free Irish Parliament was now nullified. Henry VIII, who brought the Reformation to Britain, attempted to do the same in Ireland, dissolving the monasteries, confiscating lands, and setting up a Protestant Church of Ireland in 1537. The Irish, the majority of whom were Roman Catholic, refused to convert and rebelled at least three times during the reign of Elizabeth I. In the early 17th century the British crown began a policy of confiscating land in the north of Ireland and settling Protestant English and Scottish settlers there, thus beginning the discord that would trouble Northern Ireland in the centuries to come.

Britain’s Oliver Cromwell, sent to Ireland in order to place it firmly under British control, crushed an Irish rebellion in 1649-1650, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of Irish lives, and in the late 17th century the British subjected Ireland to harsh penal laws that rendered the Catholic Irish virtually powerless. After an unsuccessful rebellion led by the Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone in 1798, the British abolished the Irish Parliament and enforced legislative union with Britain in what became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Act of Union, which also stated that the Anglican Church was to be the official Church of Ireland and that no Roman Catholics could hold public office, formally went into effect on January 1, 1801.

In the mid-19th century, Ireland suffered the Great Potato Famine, during which about 1 million Irish people died and a further 1.6 million immigrated to the United States. In 1858, a secret revolutionary organization called The Fenians was formed. This group was composed of two main divisions - the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Ireland, and the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States. It was just one of many clandestine societies working for the institution of an Irish republic, and advocated the use of force to achieve that objective.

In the 1870s Irish politicians, most prominently the nationalist leader John Redmond, pushed for a policy of home rule, which was backed, although unsuccessfully, by the British Prime Minister William Gladstone. Several years later, Griffith launched Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin’s Beginnings

When it was first established, Sinn Féin’s goal was to advance Irish economic welfare, to advocate passive resistance, and to encourage the use of the Irish Gaelic language. Griffith maintained that the natural law of nations dictated that a people united by language and culture had an inalienable right to national self-determination and economic development, hence his insistence on a cultural self-awareness firmly built on literature. Sinn Féin, then, was originally much in the nature of a literary society and not explicitly political, although it eventually became the most important political party in Ireland.

In the first years of the 20th century its growth was slow. However, in 1914 the British Parliament suspended a Home Rule Bill upon the outbreak of World War I. In reaction, some members of the IRB, including Thomas Clarke, Sean MacDermott, Patrick Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett, James Connolly, and Thomas MacDonagh, launched an armed insurrection on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. They were aided by the Irish Citizens Army, a group that had been launched in 1913 to help striking employees during the Dublin Lockout. The 1916 rebellion was overpowered by the British, which only spurred Irish militancy. Contrary to common belief, Sinn Féin was not involved in the Easter Rebellion, but the movement benefited from the misperception. Not only did the party receive more support, but those who were involved in the Rising joined the party en masse afterwards, seeing it as a means through which they could achieve an Irish republic.

A year later, at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (annual conference), the organization officially changed its platform from supporting a dual monarchy to wanting a free Irish republic. Arthur Griffith stepped down as head of the organization and was replaced by Eamon de Valera, who would later become the first taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland.

In the elections of November 1918, 73 Sinn Féin delegates were elected to the British Parliament. Instead of taking their seats, the following January these delegates proclaimed Irish independence and set up their own Irish parliament, Dáil Éireann.

For the next three years a group of Irish guerrillas, known from August 1919 as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and British military forces waged a bloody war in Ireland. In 1921 the British agreed to begin negotiations for the establishment of the Irish Free State in the southern part of Ireland. However, many members of Sinn Féin, including Eamon de Valera, were not happy with this arrangement because they were opposed the division of the island. The organization split into two rival factions and a civil war followed, with the pro-Treaty party emerging as the victor. An independent Irish government was formed, but Sinn Féin refused to participate in it. In 1927, Eamon de Valera and a group of his supporters left Sinn Féin, forming the political party Fianna Fáil, and took their seats in the Irish parliament. After this the importance of Sinn Féin, which continued to refuse to participate in the new Irish parliament, quickly waned.

However, that was not the end of the organization. Many in Ireland would not be reconciled to the island’s partition into Northern Ireland (part of the British Empire) and the independent Republic of Ireland. In 1938 the remaining members of Sinn Féin merged with the IRA, a body employing violence and terrorism, and became its political arm. Sinn Féin’s goal was now to reclaim Northern Ireland from the British and unify the island.

Violence in the North

Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland became a way of life, with violence sporadically breaking out on both sides of the border, but the strains escalated into systemic violence in the late 1960s. The Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, long subject to discrimination, had increased in population through immigration from the south, and civil rights protests in 1968 led to violent outbreaks between the nationalists (or republicans, those favoring a united Ireland) and the unionists (or loyalists, those who wish Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom).

In August 1969 the Northern Ireland government considered it necessary to call in British troops to help the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) keep the peace, and in the same year Sinn Féin and the IRA split into two sections, the Provisional wing and the Official wing. Official Sinn Féin wanted to create a united Ireland through political means, while Provisional Sinn Féin believed that the only way to create a united Ireland was through military means. For the next three decades the Provisional wing conducted assassinations and other terrorist activities, while the Official wing eventually turned into the Workers’ Party, then Democratic Left, and finally officially merged with the Labour Party in 1999.

In 1983, Gerry Adams was elected as MP for West Belfast (but refused to take his seat), and became head of the provisional wing of Sinn Féin. Three years later Sinn Féin ended its rejection of the Irish Parliament and permitted elected members to take seats. Since then, the party has been generally considered to be affiliated with the Provisional IRA even though Adams and other leaders such as Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris have stated that "we are not members of the IRA or its army council." Some government officials in the Republic of Ireland do not believe this assertion, stating that "Sinn Féin and the IRA are interlinked. They're two sides of the one coin."

In 1985 an intergovernmental conference named the Anglo-Irish Agreement was established, and although many hailed it as a noteworthy step toward cooperation between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Protestant Unionists and some Irish nationalists rejected it. As the early 1990s began, British soldiers were still on patrol in Northern Ireland. IRA terrorist attacks were still killing British civilians and military personnel, while loyalist paramilitary groups attacked nationalist areas. By the late 1990s, the violence was seemingly intractable and had claimed more than 3,000 lives since "The Troubles" began in the late 1960s.

On August 31, 1994, the IRA declared a cease-fire, and seven weeks later the loyalist paramilitary groups followed suit. However, the IRA broke the cease-fire two years later with bombings at Canary Wharf in London before restoring it in 1997. Eventually, as both Protestant and Catholic citizens of Northern Ireland wearied of the violence, all the parties with the exception of the hard-line Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led by the Reverend Ian Paisley, reached a settlement on Good Friday, April 10, 1998. A month later, Sinn Féin held a party conference during which some 330 of the 350 delegates formally approved the pact and supported a plan under which party members would serve in a planned Northern Ireland legislature. On May 22 a large majority of voters on both sides of the border affirmed the agreement in two separate referenda.

In 1999, members of Sinn Féin formed part of the cabinet that began exercising home rule powers in Northern Ireland. However, the goal of a true power-sharing government remained just out of reach - one of the most difficult issues being the Ulster Unionists’ insistence that they would not take part in a cabinet with Sinn Féin until the IRA began to surrender its weapons.

Finally, in October 2001 the IRA said it would start to decommission its weapons, and later that day the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), the body overseeing the region's disarmament process, confirmed that the IRA had destroyed an unspecified number of weapons. In mid-July 2002 the IRA issued a surprise apology for the deaths of noncombatants during its long campaign of violence.

Despite the IRA’s encouraging moves, sporadic violence continued to plague the region, and hard-line groups on both sides gained in strength as the result of elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly on November 26, 2003 - a development that was seen as a setback for the Good Friday agreement. Sinn Féin made strong gains and gained more seats than the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) to become the leading republican party. The DUP, led by Reverend Ian Paisley, also gained seats overtaking the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) to become the largest unionist party in the North.

On February 2, 2005 the IRA withdrew its offer to disarm, denouncing charges by the British and Irish governments that it had carried out a £26.5 million ($50 million) bank robbery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in December. In March 2005, Sinn Féin faced another crisis when the sisters and fiancée of murdered forklift driver Robert McCartney accused the IRA of intimidation by forcing witnesses to remain silent regarding the identity of his murderers. Those who murdered McCartney were believed to have been members of the IRA.

It was understandable if citizens in the North began to believe that the violence would never end, but on July 28, 2005 the IRA announced that, as of that very afternoon, it was ending its "armed campaign" against British rule in Northern Ireland and would henceforth devote itself to "purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means." Gerry Adams, still the president of Sinn Féin, said the announcement was a "defining point in the search for a lasting peace with justice." Just four days later, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said that Britain planned to withdraw more than half of its military forces from Northern Ireland within two years, and on September 26 retired Canadian General John de Chastelain, head of the international agency set up to monitor the disarmament of the IRA, reported that the IRA had fully "decommissioned" its arsenal or rendered it "permanently unusable."

The prospects for peace look much more promising than they have for a very long time, yet given the many broken promises of the past, uncertainty is pardonable. The vital question in Ireland is whether, a century after it began, Sinn Féin has come full circle. It arose as a pacific organization devoted to the furthering of Irish culture and economic development. Whether tranquility is restored to the terrain of Ireland depends greatly on whether Sinn Féin truly is determined to restore peace to the country it once called its own.


The largest known meteorite, estimated to weigh about 55 metric tons, is situated at Hoba West near Grootfontein, Namibia.

Chronology — Events of October 2005


     Abuses by Priests Documented in Los Angeles - Documents released Oct. 11 showed that the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles had moved priests accused of sexual abuse from one parish to another and given them counseling in the belief that their behavior could be changed. Information concerning 126 priests dated as far back as the 1920s. Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the archdiocese, came under harsh criticism Oct. 12 for allegedly having shielded priests from the law.

     Inflation Shows Strong Rise for September - The Commerce Dept. Oct. 14 reported that the consumer price index, which had been rising gradually during 2005, jumped 1.2% in September, the biggest monthly rise since March 1980, putting it up 4.7% from Sept. 2004. Energy costs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina were a major factor, and the average retail price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.82 by Oct. 14, up from $1.99 a year earlier. However, the core inflation rate, excluding energy and food, a rate that had been steady for several months, rose just 0.1%, and was up just 2% from a year earlier.

     Bush Picks Fed Chief to Succeed Greenspan - Pres. George W. Bush Oct. 24 nominated the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers to become chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. The official, Ben Bernanke, if approved by the Senate, would succeed Alan Greenspan, whose 18 years as Fed chairman had been marked by a largely successful effort to contain inflation. A former professor of economics at Princeton University, Bernanke had also served as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board.

     Rosa Parks, Icon of Civil Rights Movement, Dies - Rosa Parks, whose arrest in 1995 for refusing to yield her seat on a segregated bus led to a boycott of the bus system and helped spark the civil rights movement, died on Oct 24 at the age of 92. On Oct. 30-31 she became the first woman to lie in honor in the rotunda of the Capitol, and the 31st personal overall, in a list that included Abraham Lincoln and nine other U.S. presidents.

     Miers Withdraws as Supreme Court Nominee; Bush Nominates Alito for the Slot - House counsel Harriet Miers, who had been nominated earlier in the month to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court replacing Sandra Day O’Connor, withdrew her name in a letter to the president on Oct. 27. The move came after doubts raised by many as to her expertise in constitutional law and a growing chorus of objections from political conservatives, in the weeks following her nomination by Pres. Bush Oct. 3.
     In her place Pres. Bush Oct. 31 named Circuit Court Judge Samuel Alito, a notable conservative with a strong academic background and long record as a sitting judge. Alito, considered ideologically similar to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, said he would seek to "protect the constitutional rights of all Americans" while keeping in mind "the limited role the courts play in our constitutional system." Alito cast the sole dissenting vote in a 1991 Circuit Court decision striking down a Pennsylvania law requiring wives to inform their husbands if they intended an abortion. Senate Democrats reacted critically to the appointment, which was expected to lead to a tough confirmation battle.
     Miers, 60, a lawyer who was the first woman president of the Texas state bar and a close Bush associate, lacked a public record that appeared to cast clear light on her judicial philosophy or her stand on controversial issues such as abortion or prayer in schools. Though few senators had indicated how they might vote on tbe nomination, many had appeared skeptical as to her qualifications, with conservatives voicing strong doubts that she would reflect their views or be an advocate of judicial restraint.
     On Oct. 19, Sens. Arlen Specter (R, PA) and Patrick Leahy (D, VT), the chairman and ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, had asked Miers to resubmit parts of her questionnaire from the committee, saying that senators had found her previous responses insufficient. Pres. Bush Oct. 24 refused requests from senators that he turn over documents related to her activities as White House counsel, citing executive privilege.
     The Supreme Court opened its new term Oct. 3, with John G. Roberts Jr. presiding for the first time as the 17th chief justice of the U.S.

     Top Aide to Vice President Is Indicted - I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff for Vice Pres. Richard Cheney and an assistant to Pres. Bush, was indicted Oct. 28 by a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on 5 counts of obstruction of justice, false statements, and perjury. He resigned the same day. No other indictments were handed down, but the investigation remained open. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said Libby had obstructed a federal investigation into leaking of the identity of a secret CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson. According to the indictment, Libby said he had heard unsubstantiated reports about Plame from reporters when instead he had allegedly gotten actual information from government sources. The indictment did not charge him with leaking government secrets.
     In the wake of the indictment and the collapse of the Miers nomination, Sen. Trent Lott (R, MS), on Oct. 31, and some other Republicans called for a shakeup at the White House that would bring in new blood among the president’s advisers. Sen. Harry Reid (NV), the Senate Democratic leader, called for Bush to apologize for leaking within his administration and for deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove to resign because of involvement in the affair.


     Bombs Kill 22 in Indonesia - Bombs exploded in 3 restaurants in tourist areas on the Indonesian island of Bali, Oct. 1, killing 23 people, including the 3 bombers, and injuring more than 90. The U.S. Oct. 6 offered a $10 mil award for capture of a suspect known as Dulmatin, a senior figure in the Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah. He was believed to have been behind this bombing and the 2004 nightclub bombings in Bali that killed more than 200 people. Elsewhere, authorities in the Netherlands Oct. 14 arrested 7 Islamic radicals believed to have been planning attacks on Dutch government politicians and buildings

     Operation Launched Against Insurgents in Iraq, as Attacks Continue - In the latest effort to rout insurgents from Iraqi towns near the Syrian border, 1,000 U.S. troops attacked insurgents’ strongholds in Sadah and neighboring towns Oct. 1. The U.S. military reported that it had killed more than 50 insurgents in the operation, which ended Oct. 7.
     Insurgents threatened to step up attacks during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began Oct. 5. A bomb outside a Shiite mosque in Hilla, south of Baghdad, Oct. 5 killed 25. An explosion on a Baghdad bus Oct. 6 killed 10. The U.S. military said Oct. 7 that 6 Marines had been killed in 2 bomb attacks. More than 40 people were killed in terrorist attacks Oct. 11, and 30 died in a bombing at an army recruitment center Oct. 12. On Oct. 15, a roadside bomb killed 5 U.S. and 2 Iraqi soldiers in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.
     After U.S. forces reportedly spotted insurgents rolling artillery shells into a crater near Baghdad on Oct. 16, a U.S. plane in the air nearby fired on them, killing 20, according to the U.S. military. The military said no civilians were killed in the skirmish; some other accounts disputed this. Eight days later, three vehicle bombs exploded in succession in Baghdad, damaging 2 hotels popular with foreigners; 6 people were killed and many wounded. By Oct. 25, the number of U.S. soldiers who died in action in Iraq since the U.S. invasion had reached 2,000. On Oct. 30 a series of attacks around Baghdad left at least 11 people dead, including an adviser to the cabinet of Iraqi Prime Min. Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

     Atomic Energy Agency and Its Chief Win Nobel Peace Prize - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Oct. 7 to Egyptian diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that he headed. The Nobel committee honored him and the IAEA for "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way."

     Germany Gets First Woman Chancellor - A deal was put together between the two biggest parties in the German government Oct. 10 to make Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the first woman chancellor of Germany, succeeding Gerhard Schroeder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who had been chancellor for 7 years. The September voting for the Bundestag had been inconclusive, with the CDU winning more seats than the SDP, but falling well short of a majority. Under an Oct. 10 compromise, the SDP would lose the chancellorship but control 8 of the 14 ministries in the new government, including finance and foreign affairs. Merkel was the first person from the former East Germany to become chancellor. Further details were to be ironed out between the two parties.
     Merkel’s government was expected to officially take over by mid-November.

     At Least 128 Killed in Clashes in Southern Russian Town - On Oct. 13, an estimated 100 Islamic militants attacked several law enforcement offices and two gun shops in Nalchik, Russia. The fighting resulted in the deaths of 72 militants, 24 law enforcement officers, and at least 12 civilians, according to initial government figures. Chechen rebels claimed involvement, but officials said most of the militants were from local areas. At least 18 hostages were taken, but all were released. Order was restored by Oct. 15.

     Saddam Hussein’s Trial Begins in Baghdad - The long-anticipated trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein began Oct. 19 in Baghdad; 5 Iraqi judges presided. Although he has been linked to many crimes, he was initially charged in court with just one incident said to be among the most straightforward; the mass killing of some 150 men and boys in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him in 1982. Seven former Iraqi officials were also on trial for the same charge. Hussein pleaded not guilty, and refused to recognize the authority of the Iraqi court. The trial was adjourned until late November.
     Sadoun al-Janabi, a lawyer for one of the other defendants, was abducted from his office Oct. 21 by a dozen men. His body was found shortly thereafter, with 2 bullet wounds in the head.

     Syrian Leadership Linked to Assassination in Lebanon - A UN report made public Oct. 20 implicated Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officers in the February assassination of former Prime Min. Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. UN investigator Detlev Mehlis’s report stated that the assassination had been carefully planned for months. Investigators reportedly were eyeing Syria’s military intelligence chief, Asef Shawkat, brother-in-law of Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad, as a major figure in the plot. A resolution under consideration by the UN Security Council Oct. 31 threatened Syria with economic penalties if it did not cooperate with the UN investigation.On Oct. 31 the UN Security Council passed a resolution, 15-0, ordering Syria to cooperate "fully and unconditionally" with the UN investigation, providing all documents and interviews requested; it also ordered Syria not to interfere in Lebanon’s politics. It did not specifically call for sanctions in case of noncooperation, although these remained possible under UN powers.

     Iraqis Approve a Constitution by Wide Margin - Iraqi officials announced Oct. 25 that voters by a wide margin had approved a draft constitution for Iraq in the Oct. 15 referendum. Overall, 79% had reportedly voted for the new constitution. Shiites and Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of the draft, while in 2 of the 3 Sunni-dominated areas it was rejected by a margin of more than 2/3. Under regulations for the referendum, the constitution would have failed if a 3rd Sunni province had defeated it by a 2/3 vote or more. As a next step, free parliamentary elections were to be held in December.

     UN Report Links Companies to Oil-for-Food Graft - The 5th and final report of a UN commission looking into the UN-monitored oil-for-food program was issued Oct. 27. The investigation, headed by Paul Volcker, found massive corruption associated with what was as designed as a humanitarian program, allowing the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein to sell oil and use the proceeds to purchase food and medicine for its citizens. The regime, which was allowed to select companies receiving oil or selling goods, reportedly obtained illegal kickbacks totaling more than $1.8 billion. The regime reportedly gave preference to companies from France and Russia, which were more politically supportive than other countries, but 4,758 companies, from 66 countries in all, participated in the program, and nearly half paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to the Iraqi government.

     Bombs Kill Scores New Delhi - Three bomb blasts, two in a crowded marketplace, one in a bus - killed at least 59 people Oct. 29 in the Indian city of New Delhi. More than 200 were wounded. Most of the casualties were among holiday shoppers preparing for the upcoming Hindu Festival of Lights. Authorities were investigating.


     Avian Flu Responsible for 1918 Pandemic - Two teams of federal and university scientists announced Oct. 5 that the highly infectious 1918 influenza virus that killed 50 mil people worldwide apparently was a bird flu that jumped directly to humans. The scientists arrived at this conclusion after they recreated the strain of influenza responsible for the 1918 pandemic using fragments of viral DNA taken from the preserved lung tissue of 2 soldiers who died during the pandemic. Scientists say, however, that current strains of bird flu are not normally passed from one person to another as was the 1918 flu.
     British medical tests confirmed Oct. 13 that H5N1, the current deadly strain of avian flu, was responsible for killing thousands of birds in Turkey in October. H5N1 was also confirmed in Romanian birds Oct. 15; the first appearance of the flu in Europe. Since 1997, 120 people have been infected by H5N1, and about half died from it.

     Experimental Vaccine Effective Against Cervical Cancer - A study involving more than 12,000 women, reported Oct. 6, concluded that an experimental vaccine called Gardasil was effective in preventing cervical cancer caused by the two most common forms of a virus linked with the disease. The study was conducted by Merck & Co., manufacturer of the vaccine, Merck will seek approval of the drug from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The virus targeted by the vaccine, HPV, is a common sexually transmitted virus that has been linked to cervical cancer.

     Huge Numbers Killed in South Asia Quake - An earthquake hit South Asia Oct. 8, killing 53,000 people in Pakistan and Pakistan-held territory, with another 1,300 killed in Indian-held territory, according to preliminary statistics, An estimated 75,000 others were injured. The quake’s epicenter was in the Pakistan-administered section of Kashmir. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.6, which made it the biggest temblor to hit the region in a century. Damage was widespread throughout the region, and some villages were completely wiped out. The UN estimated that 2.5 mil people were left homeless in the mountainous region, where wintry conditions and impassable roads hampered relief operations. A UN official Oct. 20 described the earthquake aftermath as the most difficult humanitarian crisis ever. On Oct. 26, the UN asked for $550 mil in international help for survivors.

     Hurricane Wilma Strikes Caribbean, Mexico, Florida - The nightmarish hurricane season continued with Wilma. The storm ripped through Haiti and Jamaica, and then struck Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Oct. 21 before moving on to Florida. Some 21,000 tourists were among 71,000 people who crowded into shelters as the storm moved slowly north along Yucatan’s resort coast. Gov. Jeb Bush (FL) and local officials Oct. 22 ordered mandatory evacuations of the Florida Keys and adjacent areas to the north. On Oct. 24, Wilma hit the U.S., cutting eastward across south Florida, soaking Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and heading back out to sea near West Palm Beach. Millions were left without electrical power, many complained of a shortage of gasoline and other supplies. Pres. Bush visited devastated areas of Florida Oct. 27. By Oct. 29 the death toll for Wilma was put at 38 in all, including 21 in Florida.

     Chicago White Sox Win First World Series Since 1917 - The Chicago White Sox Oct. 26 became the champions of major league baseball for the first time in 88 years. They completed a 4-game World Series sweep of the Houston Astros with a 1-0 victory in Houston. The only run of the final game came in the 8th inning, when right fielder Jermaine Dye, who was named the series MVP, singled home Willie Harris from 2nd base. Freddie Garcia, who threw the first 7 innings, was the winning pitcher. Ozzie Guillen managed Chicago. The last Chicago White Sox World Series championship was in 1917. Subsequently, the team’s image faded, as some players, thereafter nicknamed the Black Sox, were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds as part of a betting scandal.

     Train Crash Kills Over 110 - More than 100 people were killed Oct. 29 when a train in southern India derailed and ran into a river; authorities said the track had been washed out by flash floods.

Science in the News — Fly Me to the Moon



Blue Moon . . . People are once again headed for the moon. This time, however, the mission is just a step towards a larger goal - Mars and beyond.

Astronauts are once again headed for the moon, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on September 19, for the first time since the Apollo program ended in 1972. This time around, the moon will serve as a jumping-off point for further space exploration, as the agency revealed plans to build a lunar base from which astronauts will eventually depart for Mars and other distant destinations. NASA also unveiled preliminary designs for a new fleet of manned spacecraft, designed with the moon mission in mind, which will replace the aging space shuttles when they reach retirement age in 2010.

With its wingless, cone-shaped design, the new Crew Exploration Vehicle looks very much like the Apollo rockets, which carried people to the moon more than three decades ago. NASA chief Mike Griffin explained, however, that the CEV is truly a brand-new vehicle and not a recycling of old ideas. First and foremost, it is bigger - with space for up to six astronauts, its human cargo capacity is twice that of Apollo. "Think of it as Apollo on steroids," Griffin said in a press conference.

In light of the Challenger and Columbia disasters, safety was a top priority in designing the CEV, and NASA tried to eliminate the problems that doomed the crews of those two shuttles. The agency claims that two significant changes will make the CEV 10 times safer than the shuttles. First, the astronauts' capsule in the CEV sits on top of the rockets that power the craft, whereas in the shuttle the capsule and rockets were side by side. Placing the capsule above the rockets should prevent it from being damaged by debris during launch; debris damage was the cause of the Columbia disaster. In addition, NASA engineers plan to equip the CEV with an escape rocket, which would blast the astronauts away from the boosters in an emergency.

Along with the safety modifications, the CEV will include several new features representing the cutting edge of space technology. Solar panels, uncovered after the craft reaches orbit, will provide power while it is in space, reducing the amount of fuel it has to carry. Its engines will run on liquid methane, which was chosen because it exists on other planets; in theory, the CEV can refuel from resources it finds in outer space, which is crucial for long missions like a trip to Mars. Towing enough fuel to travel the 100 million miles to and from Mars would be virtually impossible.

Unlike the shuttle, which used wings to glide back to the Earth's surface, the CEV will float down on parachutes. A feature new to the CEV is the ability to make a ground landing - Apollo had to splash down into water - which makes recovering and reusing the craft much cheaper and easier. An additional safety perk derives from the CEV's wingless design - engineers can hide the sleek, cone-shaped craft's heat shield under the service module (a compartment that houses support systems needed during spaceflight), which is jettisoned right before the vehicle reenters the atmosphere. This means that the shield is protected from damage during takeoff and the entire time the craft is in space, and is only exposed when it is needed for reentry.

Although it is the centerpiece of the new fleet, the CEV alone will not get humans to the moon. In fact, it will take two separate launches to get all the pieces needed for a lunar mission into space. The sequence of events involved in a lunar landing will be as follows: First, NASA will use a heavy-lift rocket, capable of carrying 125 tons, to put a lunar landing module and an additional rocket into low earth orbit. Then, in a separate liftoff, the CEV, carrying the astronauts, will launch into orbit and dock with the lander and rocket in outer space. Once the pieces are united, the rocket will propel the astronauts from terrestrial orbit to lunar orbit, where they will move from the CEV into the lunar landing module and descend to the moon's surface. After they complete their mission on the moon, a portion of the lander will blast them back to the orbiting CEV, while the rest of it remains behind on the surface, along with other equipment, to be used by future missions. Finally, the CEV will carry the astronauts back to Earth.

Thanks to technological advances since Apollo, CEV astronauts will have greater ability to explore the moon than ever before. To begin with, the CEV is automated and can take care of itself while the crew is on the ground, so no one will have to stay behind to run the ship. The larger vessel can also stay in orbit longer, enabling the astronauts to spend a full week on the moon, compared to the two or three days allowed by Apollo. Finally, the lander is equipped with more propellant than Apollo's lunar excursion module (LEM), opening up all points on the lunar surface, including the poles, for landing. The Apollo LEM, in contrast, could only float down to areas directly beneath the orbiting spacecraft, which circled the lunar equator.

NASA's plans are ambitious but the timetable is not: a moon landing is not scheduled until 2018. Still, the agency plans to have the CEV up and running well before then. Starting just six years from now, in 2011, the new craft should begin to make runs to and from the International Space Station, carrying both crew and cargo. Once lunar landings do begin, NASA expects them to be regular events, occurring at least twice a year.Scientists are eager for the opportunity that week long lunar missions will afford for conducting basic research in areas like astrobiology (the study of life in outer space) and geology. The moon may also contain valuable resources - one space expert, John Pike of, hopes it may prove to be a source of the rare element helium-3, which might someday be used to power fusion reactors back on Earth. The primary goal of the moon missions, however, is to build a permanent base where astronauts can stay for extended periods of time. Astronauts will practice "living off the land," obtaining oxygen, fuel and other materials from the moon's resources. (In pursuit of this objective, NASA in May 2005 announced a "MoonROx" contest, with an award of $250,000 for developing an effective method of extracting oxygen from simulated lunar soil.) Because it is only a three-day flight from Earth, the moon is the perfect testing ground for whether humans can live on other planets for more than a few days at a time.

Ultimately, the entire lunar landing program, for all its complexity and expense, is just a step towards a larger goal. Visiting the moon, after all, has been done before, and if space is really the final frontier, humans will keep longing to explore new and more distant destinations. Mars is next on the agenda, and after that, the sky is not the limit!


In 2004, Wangari Maathai of Kenya became the first woman from Africa to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Offbeat News Stories

If You Build It, They Will Come

While ‘roughing it’ may mean different things to different people, there’s no question that spending the night in a cave would qualify for most. Yet at least a few people have already paid for the privilege ($5 per night) of spending the night in one of Richard Zimmerman’s bare-bones cave accommodations in east-central Idaho. The 89-year-old retired construction worker and cave resident, also known as "Dugout Dick," has carved a dozen dwellings up to 100 feet into a hillside over the last several decades. Zimmerman is now hoping that the rustic quarters, which come with a woodstove and mattress, will bolster tourism in his small mountain community near the Salmon River - and notes that they could even serve as bomb shelters in a pinch. Business has been a bit sparse, and Zimmerman acknowledges that cave life is "not for everyone" nowadays. But he remains optimistic: "I expect the trade will pick up anytime now," he recently observed.

Blast From the Past

"Sneeze into the handkerchief and then put the handkerchief into the bowl of disinfectant to kill the germs, not in the family’s washing. Got it? Sure? Good! Remember, don’t spread germs." Sixty British public service advertisements like that one from 1948 are being released by the country’s National Archives over the next six months and will be available online as streaming video. The ads, made by the Central Office of Information, date back to 1945 and were originally shown on movie theater newsreels, but became more pervasive in line with television’s growing popularity. All of the films - covering issues from public spitting and tissue use to street-crossing and AIDS - were motivated by some public safety or health concern, though some of the films may seem a bit quaint or insulting to the intelligence. One, for instance, advised citizens to close their eyes when sneezing. Another imparted wisdom on pedestrian safety: "You must look where you’re going. It’s no good thinking you can have a sleep or eat your breakfast out there because you’ll soon find yourself in trouble."

To access the archives, visit

From The World Almanac — Social Reformers, Activists, and Humanitarians of the Past

Jane Addams, 1860-1935, (U.S.) cofounder of Hull House; won Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.
Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, (U.S.) a leader in temperance, anti-slavery, and woman suffrage movements.
Thomas Barnardo, 1845-1905, (Br.) social reformer; pioneered in care of destitute children.
Clara Barton, 1821-1912, (U.S.) organized American Red Cross.
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-87, (U.S.) clergyman, abolitionist.
Peter Benenson, 1921-2005, (Br.) activist, founded Amnesty International in 1961.
Amelia Bloomer, 1818-94, (U.S.) suffragette, social reformer.
William Booth, 1829-1912, (Br.) founded Salvation Army.
John Brown, 1800-59, (U.S.) abolitionist who led murder of 5 pro-slavery men, was hanged.
Frances Xavier (Mother) Cabrini, 1850-1917, (It.-U.S.) Italian-born nun; founded charitable institutions; first American canonized as a saint, 1946.
Carrie Chapman Catt, 1859-1947, (U.S.) suffragette.
Cesar Chavez, 1927-93, (U.S.) labor leader; helped establish United Farm Workers of America.
Clarence Darrow, 1857-1938, (U.S.) lawyer; defender of "underdog," opponent of capital punishment.
Dorothy Day, 1897-1980, (U.S.) founder of Catholic Worker movement.
Eugene V. Debs, 1855-1926, (U.S.) labor leader; led Pullman strike, 1894; 4-time Socialist presidential candidate.
Dorothea Dix, 1802-87, (U.S.) crusader for mentally ill.
Thomas Dooley, 1927-61, (U.S.) "jungle doctor," noted for efforts to supply medical aid to developing countries.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 1890-1998, (U.S.) writer and environmentalist; campaigned to save Florida Everglades.
William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-79, (U.S.) abolitionist.
Emma Goldman, 1869-1940, (Russ.-U.S.) published anarchist Mother Earth, birth-control advocate.
Samuel Gompers, 1850-1924, (U.S.) labor leader.
Michael Harrington, 1928-89, (U.S.) exposed poverty in affluent U.S. in The Other America, 1963.
Sidney Hillman, 1887-1946, (U.S.) labor leader; helped organize CIO.
Samuel G. Howe, 1801-76, (U.S.) social reformer; changed public attitudes toward the handicapped.
Helen Keller, 1880-1968, (U.S.) crusader for better treatment for the handicapped; deaf and blind herself.
Maggie Kuhn, 1905-95, (U.S.) founded Gray Panthers, 1970.
William Kunstler, 1919-95, (U.S.) civil liberties attorney.
John L. Lewis, 1880-1969, (U.S.) labor leader; headed United Mine Workers, 1920-60.
Karl Menninger, 1893-1990, (U.S.) with brother William founded Menninger Clinic and Menninger Foundation.
Lucretia Mott, 1793-1880, (U.S.) reformer, pioneer feminist.
Philip Murray, 1886-1952, (U.S.) Scottish-born labor leader.
Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910, (Br.) founder of modern nursing.
Emmeline Pankhurst, 1858-1928, (Br.) woman suffragist.
Walter Reuther, 1907-70, (U.S.) labor leader; headed UAW.
Jacob Riis, 1849-1914, (U.S.) crusader for urban reforms.
Margaret Sanger, 1883-1966, (U.S.) social reformer; pioneered the birth-control movement.
Earl of Shaftesbury (A. A. Cooper), 1801-85, (Br.) social reformer.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815-1902, (U.S.) woman suffrage pioneer.
Lucy Stone, 1818-93, (U.S.) feminist, abolitionist.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-97, (Alban.) nun; founded order to care for sick, dying poor; 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
Philip Vera Cruz, 1905-94, (Filipino-U.S.) helped to found the United Farm Workers Union.
William Wilberforce, 1759-1833, (Br.) social reformer; prominent in struggle to abolish the slave trade.
Frances E. Willard, 1839-98, (U.S.) temperance, women's rights leader.
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-97, (Br.) wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women.

Links of the Month — Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief


Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (reproduction number LC-USZ62-53518)

Julia Ward Howe in 1908

My co-worker Julia had a birthday last month, and I started this entry, but never quite finished it, so this month we honor Julia’s. Here’s something you might not know about the late celebrity chef Julia Child (1912-2004); during World War II she worked for the Office of Strategic Services (America’s first intelligence agency) in Washington, D.C. A French cooking expert, she became widely known after her television show "The French Chef" debuted nationally on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1963; in 1961, she and two French colleagues published a cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which soon came to be considered the definitive work of its kind in English. To learn more about Child, visit Known mainly today as the writer of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), was famous in her lifetime as poet, essayist, and reformer, who along with her husband Samuel Gridley Howe edited and contributed to the Boston Commonwealth, an antislavery paper. After the Civil War, Howe was active in the women's rights movement as a founder of both the New England Women's Club and the Association for the Advancement of Women. To learn more about Howe visit: The best known work of architect Julia Morgan (1872-1957) is Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. Morgan worked in California for nearly twenty years - designing a variety of buildings including residences and a series of YMCA buildings in California, Hawaii and Utah - before she was asked by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst to design a main house and guest houses at his ranch in San Simeon. Over the next 28 years, Morgan oversaw the construction of these buildings, and worked with Hearst to integrate his art collection into the structures and grounds. The work was never completed, as the Hearst finances suffered a reverse. To learn more about Morgan and Hearst Castle visit Beginning a career in photograph at the age of 48, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) moved in the upper Victorian British circles, and became known for her "celebrity" photographs and illustrations for literary works. To learn more about Cameron and see examples of her work visit Although First Lady for only eight months, Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889) was the center of national attention when she wed the widower President John Tyler, 30 years her senior. It was Julia who had "Hail to the Chief" played for the President at state occasions. Only 25 when she left the White House, she became the mistress of the family home Sherwood Forest, and after her husbands death in 1862, Tyler continued to support the Confederacy. To learn more about Tyler visit


Library of Congress Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-109426

Rosa Parks in 1964

On Sunday, October 30th, Rosa Parks (1913-2005) became the first woman in history to lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Parks, a former seamstress, shares the tribute bestowed upon Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and other national leaders. She was only the second black person to receive this honor. A pioneer in the Civil Rights movement, she became famous when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus, on December 1, 1955. To learn more about this beloved national hero, visit

Do you miss talking to a "real" person when you have a problem with your insurance company, or need to report a problem with your online service provider? There are ways around the voice mail labyrinth, and a visit to the following website will give you some insider information on how to talk to an actual person:

The winner of a Pulitzer Prize, the novel I'm currently reading, The Known World by Edward P. Jones, explores the world of antebellum Virginia, in which some freed blacks owned slaves. This chapter in U.S. history is something that I was completely unaware of. I learned more about this period at a Library of Congress online exhibit titled, "African American Odyssey," which explores the struggle of blacks over 200 years in America. Visit it at:

It's hard to believe, but less than 15 years ago, cell phones were a rarity. In the early 1990s a co-worker Rob came to work with a briefcase that had a telephone it in. I remember asking, "Whom are you going to call? Who is going to call you? If only I'd gotten stock in that company! Who would have imagined that Dick Tracy's video watch phone or the Batphone would actually exist? To learn more about mobile phone history visit:


(c) Jim Keenley

Fred's Halloween Costume

I had a birthday last month and a friend of mine sent me ten lottery tickets. I came a way a big winner....well, okay, maybe not. I did win $3.00, and I have not yet decided where to spend my winnings. Lotteries are not new. They have been around since the days of Julius Caesar, and last month, a Powerball drawing in the U.S. produced the biggest lottery prize in history, a whopping $340 million dollars. A legalized form of gambling in the U.S., lottery revenues are often funneled into a states education system. To learn more about the history of lotteries visit:

Unusual Website of the Month: I know a cat named Fred, who lives in Brooklyn, who will no doubt have his picture appearing on the following website. In fact, this photograph of him was just e-mailed to me today. Check out Stuff On My Cat at:

Quote of the Month

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
     - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. President

THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2006 and THE WORLD ALMANAC FOR BOOKLOVERS will appear in bookstores on November 15, 2005.


THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2006 has a 138-year tradition of editorial accuracy with hundreds of thousands of facts inside. Collected from only the most reliable sources, THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2006 features all the information that people need along with the newest and most up-to-date facts on every topic. Illustrated with full color photographs, this annual #1 New York Times bestseller has sold more than 80 million copies.

This year THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2006 delivers in depth feature stories on:

Hurricane Katrina
Provides a summary of the facts and figures of the devastation wreaked by hurricane Katrina, including information on government aid, updates on reconstruction, and repercussions of the flooding.

The Future of the Supreme Court
A forward look at the changing landscape of the Supreme Court, this article analyzes the legacy of the Rehnquist court and examines big cases upcoming in the 2005-06 term.

Traveling by the Book by Nancy Pearl, author of the best-selling Book Lust:
Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason and More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason. Provides an enjoyable guide to the best armchair-travel titles set in exotic locales.

Waking to China by Ted C. Fishman, author of China, Inc.:
How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World (2005). An important piece on China’s economic development and its global effect, Waking to China provides valuable insight on the history and future of this growing nation. Fishman’s articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, The Times of London, and other publications.

PlayNation: Inside the Multibillion Dollar Fascination with Video Games by David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom, and Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids.
Examines the history and growth of the video gaming industry, as well as the changing levels of social acceptance towards video games.

Other features include:
- Top reality show winners
- A Health News feature and information on the new food pyramid
- A new primer on renewable energy
- A special feature on Identity Theft
- Final and complete 2004 election results
- Plus, as always, our top ten new stories, offbeat news stories, and quotes of the year

Learn everything about books! THE WORLD ALMANAC FOR BOOKLOVERS is a fun and handy pocket guide to the world of books and literature. Whether you're an avid reader or at a loss of what to read next, THE WORLD ALMANAC FOR BOOKLOVERS will let you in on:


- The pen name of Chloe Anthony Wofford
- The difference between immanent and imminent
- The largest grossing movie based on a book

Inside, you'll find facts and ideas that you can use not only when you're choosing your next read, but also when you're discussing books, language or pop culture. Look for:

- Lists of authors, bestsellers, and award winners
- A special reading group section
- Pages on cookbooks and armchair travel titles
- Book quizzes and a place to record your favorite titles

The perfect gift for bookworms, bibliophiles, reading groups, and even those who haven't cracked a book since high school, THE WORLD ALMANAC FOR BOOKLOVERS has book facts and book fun for everyone.

© World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

Newsletter Contributors:
Louise Bloomfield, Jane Hogan, Sarah Janssen, Walter Kronenberg, Bill McGeveran and Vincent Spadafora.

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