Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 233rd day of 2008 with 133 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning star is Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 20
On August 20th, 1977, the United States launched the Voyager II spacecraft.

Other Notable Events, August 20
In 1741, Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered what is now Alaska.

In 1968, approximately 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" -- a brief period of liberalization in the communist country.

In 1977, the first U.S. Voyager spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., bound for Jupiter and Saturn.

In 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced that a contingent of U.S. Marines would join French and Italian troops as peacekeepers in Beirut.

In 1986, postal worker Patrick Henry Sherrill killed 14 fellow workers and wounded six others in the Edmond, Okla., post office before killing himself.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared that Americans and other foreigners held by Iraq are "hostages" and warned he will hold Iraq responsible for their "safety and well-being."

In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law an increase in the minimum wage in two steps from $4.25 to $5.15 an hour.

In 1997, NATO forces seized thousands of weapons being kept at police stations in Serbian Bosnia's largest city.

In 1998, U.S. missiles struck sites in Afghanistan and Sudan said to be linked with terrorists. The attacks were in response to the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 13 days earlier.

In 2002, a group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein took over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.

In 2003, in the aftermath of the bombing of its Iraq headquarters in Baghdad, the United Nations said it would continue its work but would reduce its staff.

Also in 2003, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the state supreme court building.

In 2005, in his first visit to his German homeland since becoming pope, Benedict XVI told a group of Muslims that Islam and Christianity must work together to defeat terrorism.

In 2006, schoolteacher John Mark Karr was returned to the United States for questioning in the decade-old death of 6-year-old Colorado beauty queen Jon Benet Ramsey. Karr confessed to the killing but said it was an accident. He was later determined not to have a role in the girl's death.

In 2007, the governor of Iraq's southern al-Muthana province and five of his aides were killed when a roadside bomb struck their convoy. Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Hassani was a member of the largest Shiite political group in parliament.

Also in 2007, fall term classes started at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on a day after a memorial service for the 32 people gunned down by a student on campus in April.

Notable Birthdays for August 20
Those born on this date include:
- Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, in 1833
- Poet Edgar Guest in 1881
- Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft in 1890
- Architect Eero Saarinen in 1910
- Author Jacqueline Susann in 1921
- Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 1941
- Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1944
- Singer/songwriter Isaac Hayes in 1942
- Journalist Connie Chung in 1946 (age 62)
- Rock star Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame in 1948 (age 60)
- TV personality Al Roker in 1954 (age 54)
- Actress Joan Allen in 1956 (age 52)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 19, the 232nd day of 2008 with 134 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning star is Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 19
On August 19th, 1768, St. Isaac's Cathedral was founded in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Other Notable Events, August 19
During the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution defeated the British frigate Guerriere in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia and earned its nickname of "Old Ironsides." Witnesses said the British shot seemed to bounce off its sides.

In 1915, two Americans were killed when a German U-boat torpedoed the British liner Lusitania in the Atlantic Ocean, an incident that helped move the United States into World War I.

In 1955, floods hit the northeastern United States, killing 200 people.

In 1960, U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was convicted in a Moscow court and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released 18 months later and exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

In 1977, one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history hit the eastern Indian Ocean between Australia and Indonesia, rattling buildings in Perth, Australia, 1,000 miles to the south.

In 1987, gun enthusiast Michael Ryan went on a shooting rampage in Hungerford, England, killing 16 people.

In 1991, Soviet President Gorbachev was detained at his vacation dacha as military and KGB hard-liners staged a coup that ultimately failed.

In 1992, delegates to the Republican National Convention nominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle for re-election. They were defeated in November by Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

In 1993, former contra rebels in Nicaragua took a government delegation hostage. In retaliation, ex-Sandinista soldiers seized political leaders in Managua, the capital. All hostages were released by both groups by Aug. 25.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he was ending the 28-year U.S. policy of letting Cuban refugees take up U.S. residency if they reached the country.

In 1995, three U.S. negotiators, including U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Frasure, were killed when their vehicle plunged from a mountain road near Sarajevo, Bosnia.

In 1996, the Green Party nominated Ralph Nader as its presidential candidate.

In 2003, the U.N. representative to Iraq was among the 22 people killed when a cement mixer truck loaded with 1,500 pounds of explosives blew up at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Also in 2003, a suicide bomber exploded a device aboard a Jerusalem bus killing and injuring more than 100 people.

In 2004, the price of oil hit a record high of $48.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In 2005, Merck & Co, said it would appeal a Texas jury's award of $253 million in a wrongful death suit over the company's Vioxx painkiller. It was the first civil trial for the drug, pulled from the market after a study showed it could increase a risk of heart attack or stroke. In all, some 4,000 lawsuits were filed in the case.

In 2006, the Democratic National Committee voted to penalize 2008 presidential candidates and states that defy the DNC nomination calendar.

Also in 2006, more than 30 people were feared dead after a boat carrying up to 200 illegal immigrants capsized and sank near Sicily, the Italian coast guard said.

In 2007, voters in Thailand approved a new constitutional referendum by the military-backed government which seized power the previous year.

Also in 2007, rescue workers were reported ending their search for six miners trapped in a Utah coal mine for nearly two weeks. Three would-be rescuers were killed in a second cave-in.

And, officials said intense heat gripping the U.S. Midwest and South contributed to the deaths of at least 47 people. Memphis endured the brunt with 10 dead.

Notable Birthdays for August 19
Those born on this date include:
- English poet John Dryden in 1631
- Connecticut clockmaker Seth Thomas in 1785
- Statesman Bernard Baruch in 1870
- Aviation pioneer Orville Wright in 1871
- French fashion designer Coco Chanel in 1883
- Actor Alfred Lunt in 1892
- Humorist Ogden Nash in 1902
- Pioneer television engineer Philo Farnsworth in 1906
- Singing Mills Brother Harry Mills in 1913
- Publisher Malcolm Forbes in 1919
- Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in 1921
- Jockey Willie Shoemaker in 1931
- Actress Diane Muldaur in 1938 (age 70)
- Actress Jill St. John in 1940 (age 68)
- Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, in 1946 (age 62)
- Actor Gerald McRaney in 1947 (age 61)
- Actor Adam Arkin in 1956 (age 52)
- Actor John Stamos in 1963 (age 45)
- Actor Matthew Perry in 1969 (age 39)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 18, 2008


Today is Monday, Aug. 18, the 231st day of 2008 with 135 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning star is Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 18
On August 18th, 1877, the Martian moon Phobos was discovered.

Other Notable Events, August 18
In 1227, Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, died in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia.

In 1587, Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents to be born in the New World, was born at Roanoke Island, part of what would become North Carolina.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was ratified by Tennessee, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land.

In 1940, the United States and Canada established a World War II plan of joint defense against possible enemy attacks.

In 1960, the first commercially produced oral contraceptives went on the market.

In 1963, James Meredith graduated from the University of Mississippi. He was the first African-American to attend the school and his enrollment touched off deadly riots, necessitating the use of armed guards.

In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford was nominated in Kansas City, Mo., to head the Republican presidential ticket but lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in November.

In 1977, comedian Julius "Groucho" Marx, leader of the wacky Marx Brothers, died at the age of 87.

In 1982, Lebanon and the Palestine Liberation Organization approved a plan for withdrawal of PLO fighters from besieged West Beirut. Israel approved it the following day.

In 1990, U.S. warships fired warning shots over the bows of two Iraqi tankers, the first salvos of the U.S. embargo.

In 1992, a convoy of 17 buses carrying 1,000 women and children left war-torn Sarajevo in the second such evacuation from Bosnia in a week.

In 1998, in the wake of his admission of an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, U.S. President Bill Clinton was urged to resign by several members of Congress and more than 100 daily newspapers.

In 2002, Abu Nidal, one of the most feared of the Palestinian terrorists, was found shot to death, an apparent suicide.

In 2003, authorities estimated as many as 10,000 people had died in heat-related deaths in France during a European heat wave.

In 2005, Dennis Rader, the Kansas man who called himself the BTK killer -- for bind, torture, kill -- and confessed to slaying 10 people, was sentenced to 10 consecutive life-in-prison terms.

In 2007, more than 1,000 soldiers were sent to Peru's earthquake-devastated region to deal with looting gangs and to bring order out of chaos. More than 500 people died in the quake.

Notable Birthdays for August 18
Those born on this date include:
- American explorer Meriwether Lewis in 1774
- Chicago department store founder Marshall Field in 1834
- Songwriter Otto Harbach ( Smoke Gets In Your Eyes ) in 1873
- Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1917
- Actress Shelley Winters in 1920
- Former first lady Rosalynn Carter in 1927 (age 81)
- Film director Roman Polanski in 1933 (age 75)
- Baseball star Roberto Clemente in 1934
- Actor Robert Redford in 1937 (age 71)
- Actor Martin Mull in 1943 (age 65)
- Actor Patrick Swayze in 1952 (age 56)
- Actress Madeleine Stowe in 1958 (age 50)
- Actor Christian Slater in 1969 (age 39)
- Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner in 1970 (age 38)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Today is Sunday, Aug. 17, the 230th day of 2008 with 136 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning star is Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 17
On August 17th, 1807, the world's first commercial steamboat service was inaugurated by Robert Fulton.

Other Notable Events, August 17
In 1807, Robert Fulton began the first American steamboat trip between Albany, N.Y., and New York City.

In 1915, a hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing 275 people.

In 1961, the East German government began building the Berlin Wall.

In 1978, three Americans completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by balloon, landing their helium-filled Double Eagle II near Paris.

In 1987, kidnapped U.S. journalist Charles Glass escaped and was rescued after being held hostage for 62 days in Lebanon.

Also in 1987, Rudolf Hess, Hitler's former deputy, was found strangled in Berlin's Spandau Prison. He was 93.

In 1991, the Lebanese government granted amnesty to former Christian army commander Gen. Michel Aoun and allowed him to leave the French Embassy.

In 1992, filmmaker Woody Allen and his leading lady, Mia Farrow, split up after 12 years together. Allen said he was in love with the actress' adult daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

In 1996, the Reform Party nominated Texas businessman Ross Perot for president.

In 1998, addressing the American people, U.S. President Bill Clinton admitted he had a relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky that was "not appropriate."

In 1999, at least 16,000 people were killed and 20,000 more injured when a strong earthquake rocked Turkey.

In 2001, Ford Motor Co. announced it would dismiss up to 5,000 of its salaried employees -- or 10 percent of its managers and engineers.

In 2003, a U.S. soldier killed a Reuters photographer at a prison near Baghdad after mistaking his camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Also in 2003, loss of revenue from a fire-damaged Iraqi oil pipeline was estimated at $7 million a day with repairs expected to take a month.

In 2004, eight British men arrested with reconnaissance plans for the New York Stock Exchange and other targets have been charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to use radioactive material, toxic gas, chemicals or explosives.

In 2005, reports say three suicide car bombings in the center of Baghdad killed at least 43 people and injured 80 others. Meanwhile, a series of bombs exploded simultaneously across Bangladesh killing at least 115 people.

Also in 2005, Israeli soldiers and police began moving Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

In 2006, a U.S. District judge in Detroit ruled that the National Security Agency wiretapping program was illegal. U.S. President George Bush ordered an appeal.

Also in 2006, several U.S. cigarette makers were convicted in a Washington civil racketeering suit of conspiring to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.

In 2007, the FBI was reported investigating whether U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, helped arrange a $70 million contract for a company that oversaw work on his house.

Notable Birthdays for August 17
Those born on this date include:
- Frontiersman Davy Crockett in 1786
- Movie producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1882
- Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey in 1887
- Actors Monty Woolley in 1888 and Mae West in 1893
- Publisher/diplomat John Hay Whitney in 1904
- Actress Maureen O'Hara in 1920 (age 88)
- Actor Robert De Niro in 1943 (age 65)
- U.S. spy plane aviator Francis Gary Powers in 1929
- British poet laureate Ted Hughes in 1930
- Pop singer Belinda Carlisle in 1958 (age 50)
- Actor Sean Penn in 1960 (age 48)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Today is Saturday, Aug. 16, the 229th day of 2008 with 137 to follow.

The moon is full. The morning star is Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 16
On August 16th, 1896, gold was discovered in the Klondike.

Other Notable Events, August 16
In 1812, British forces foiled plans for a U.S. invasion of Canada by capturing the city of Detroit.

In 1896, the North Country gold rush began with the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory.

In 1939, New York's famous vaudeville house, the Hippodrome, closed after 34 years.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York of cancer at age 53.

In 1977, Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll, died of heart failure at his home in Memphis at age 42.

In 1987, a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Phoenix crashed on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 people. A 4-year-old girl was the sole survivor.

In 1990, U.S. naval forces were ordered to prevent ships from reaching or leaving the ports of Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

In 2004, as many as seven helicopters were pressed into service to rescue hundreds of flood victims stranded on roof and car tops near Cornwall, England. Rescue workers called the situation "horrendous."

In 2005, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit northern Japan triggering a tsunami alert along the Pacific coast.

In 2006, authorities in Bangkok, Thailand, arrested American John Mark Karr for the widely publicized 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, a 6-year-old beauty queen from Boulder, Colo. Karr publicly confessed but said it was an accident. He was later cleared of any involvement.

Also in 2006, flooding in Ethiopia, which already had killed hundreds and stranded thousands, spread across the country as more rivers burst through their banks.

In 2007, Jose Padilla, accused of plotting to explode a dirty bomb in the United States, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to commit terror and giving material support to al-Qaida.

Notable Birthdays for August 16
Those born on this date include:
- The French physicist Gabriel Lippman, inventor of color photography, in 1845
- Amos Alonzo Stagg, basketball, football hall of fame coach in 1862
- Labor leader George Meany in 1894
- Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1913
- Actor Fess Parker in 1924 (age 84)
- Actor Ann Blyth in 1928 (age 80)
- Actor Robert Culp in 1930 (age 78)
- Football star and sports commentator Frank Gifford in 1930 (age 78)
- TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford (wife of Frank Gifford) in 1953 (age 55)
- Singer Eydie Gorme in 1931 (age 76)
- Actress Julie Newmar in 1933 (age 75)
- Actress Lesley Ann Warren in 1946 (age 62)
- Actor Reginald VelJohnson in 1952 (age 56)
- Director James Cameron ( Titanic ) in 1954 (age 54)
- Actor Jeff Perry in 1955 (age 53)
- Actress Angela Bassett in 1958 (age 50)
- Singer Madonna in 1958 (age 50)
- Actress Laura Innes in 1959 (age 49)
- Actor Timothy Hutton in 1960 (age 48)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 15, 2008


Today is Friday, Aug. 15, the 228th day of 2008 with 138 to go.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 15
On August 15th, 1519, Panama City was founded.

Other Notable Events, August 15
In 1914, a U.S. ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and pilot Wiley Post were killed when their plane crashed in Alaska.

In 1947, India and Pakistan won their independence from Great Britain.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival opened on Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, N.Y., drawing an estimated 400,000 people for three days of music.

In 1985, South African President P.W. Botha, rejecting Western pleas to abolish apartheid, declared, "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."

In 1987, more than 13.5 inches of rain drenched the Chicago area, causing more than $100 million in damage.

In 1991, the United Nations allowed Iraq to sell up to $1.6 billion worth of oil to obtain money for food and medicine.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II conducted mass for up to 400,000 people at the World Youth Day festival south of Denver.

In 1995, the Justice Department agreed to pay $3.1 million to white separatist Randall Weaver, whose wife and teenage son were killed by FBI sharpshooters during a standoff at his Idaho cabin three years earlier.

In 1998, a bomb blast in Omagh, Northern Ireland, killed 28 people and injured more than 300 others. A 29th victim died a month later. It was the worst attack in 29 years of paramilitary violence in Ulster.

Also in 1998, Pakistan handed over to Kenya a suspect who reportedly confessed to involvement in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi eight days earlier.

In 2003, Libya admitted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives and agreed to pay reparations that reports say could total $2.7 billion.

In 2004, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan called on Central Africa governments to curb militias in the border areas of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda following the massacre of more than 150 Congolese refugees, mostly women and children, in Burundi.

Also in 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez survived a referendum to oust him.

In 2006, heavy fighting was reported between Sri Lankan government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern part of the island country.

Also in 2006, Britain sought swift extradition from Pakistan of the reported mastermind in the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners on flights to and from the United States.

In 2007, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck 90 miles southeast of Lima, Peru, killing an estimated 500 people and injuring hundreds more.

Also in 2007, recovery workers in China found five more bodies at the site of a collapsed river bridge, raising the death toll to 34, reports said.

Notable Birthdays for August 15
Those born on this date include:
- Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769
- Scottish novelist Walter Scott in 1771
- Longtime Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey in 1859
- Actress Ethel Barrymore in 1879
- Novelist Edna Ferber in 1885
- British soldier and writer T.E. Lawrence ( Lawrence of Arabia ) in 1888
- Songwriter Charles Tobias ( Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree ) in 1898
- Composer Ned Washington in 1901
- Bandleader Hugo Winterhalter in 1909
- Chef Julia Child in 1912
- Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1924 (age 84)
- Actor Mike Connors in 1925 (age 83)
- Civil rights leader Vernon Jordan Jr. in 1935 (age 73)
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in 1938 (age 70)
- Journalist Linda Ellerbee in 1944 (age 64)
- Songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1946 (age 62)
- Britain's Princess Anne in 1950 (age 58)
- Actress Debra Messing in 1968 (age 40)
- Actor Ben Affleck in 1972 (age 36)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today is Thursday, Aug. 14, the 227th day of 2008 with 139 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 14
On August 14th, 1808, the Cologne Cathedral in Germany was completed.

Other Notable Events, August 14
In 1784, Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founded the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island.

In 1900, some 2,000 U.S. Marines joined with European forces to capture Beijing, ending the Boxer Rebellion against the Western presence in China.

In 1935, the U.S. Congress passed the Social Security Act and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt immediately signed it into law.

In 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman announced that Japan had accepted terms for unconditional surrender, ending World War II.

In 1966, the unmanned U.S. Orbiter 1 spacecraft began orbiting the moon.

In 1991, the Justice Department accused General Electric of fraud for billing the Pentagon $30 million for the non-existent sale of F-16 parts to the Israeli military.

In 1994, the notorious international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal" was captured in Sudan. He was extradited to France the next day.

In 1995, following a long legal battle, Shannon Faulkner was admitted to the cadet corps of the previously all-male Citadel. She resigned from the South Carolina military school four days later.

In 1996, the Republican Party nominated Bob Dole for president to face incumbent Bill Clinton in the November election.

In 2003, a massive power failure spread through Ohio, Michigan, the Northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada, leaving 50 million people in eight states and the province of Ontario without electricity for as long as two days.

Also in 2003, the French Health Ministry said sweltering heat in Europe could be responsible for as many as 3,000 deaths in France.

In 2004, Hurricane Charley raked the coast of the Carolinas and moved back ashore at Georgetown, S.C., with 75 mph winds. Meanwhile, Florida, hard hit the day before, searched for more victims and assessed damage.

Also in 2004, at least 115 people were reported killed by Typhoon Rananim, the 14th typhoon to hit China that year.

And, Hutu gunmen killed at least 130 Congolese Tutsi refugees at a camp in Burundi where they came for safety from just such assaults.

In 2005, North Korea's top nuclear envoy said the country would be "fully prepared" to prove it has no uranium-based weapons program.

Also in 2005, authorities say the crash of a Helios Airways plane in Greece with 121 people aboard could have been caused by a sudden drop in cabin pressure. A report from the scene said there were no survivors.

In 2006, the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon ended in a truce, effective on this date, after 34 days of fighting.

In 2007, at least 500 people were reported killed and hundreds more were hurt when two pairs of truck bombs exploded about five miles apart in the remote, northwestern Iraqi towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera.

Also in 2007, Mattel, the world's largest toy company, announced it was recalling nearly 19 million toys made in China, about half of them in the United States. Included were more than 400,000 toy cars said to be coated with lead.

And, in 2007 sports, Tim Donaghy, a former National Basketball Association referee, pleaded guilty to charges growing from a U.S. betting scandal. He was accused of selling inside game information to bettors.

Notable Birthdays for August 14
Those born on this date include:
- Pioneer psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing in 1840
- Naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton in 1860
- Writer Ernest Thayer ( Casey at the Bat ) in 1863
- English novelist John Galsworthy in 1867
- Writer Russell Baker in 1925 (age 83)
- Actor Alice Ghostley in 1926
- Singer Buddy Greco, also in 1926 (age 82)
- Rock musician David Crosby in 1941 (age 67)
- Comedian Steve Martin in 1945 (age 63)
- Actress Susan Saint James in 1946 (age 62)
- Author Danielle Steele in 1947 (age 61)
- The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson in 1950 (age 58)
- Former basketball star Earvin Magic Johnson in 1959 (age 49)
- Actress Halle Berry in 1966 (age 42)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Aug. 13, the 226th day of 2008 with 140 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 13
On August 13th, 1913, Harry Brearly invented stainless steel.

Other Notable Events, August 13
In 1889, William Gray patented the coin-operated telephone.

In 1930, Capt. Frank Hawkes set an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes.

In 1961, East Germany closed the Brandenburg Gate and prepared to start building the Berlin Wall.

In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter was nominated for a second term by the Democratic National Convention in New York but lost in November to Ronald Reagan.

In 1990, singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield was left paralyzed when he was hit by a wind-blown lighting rig on an outdoor stage in New York. He died in 1999.

In 1992, a gunman dressed in military fatigues went on a shooting spree in a plant nursery in Watsonville, Calif., killing three and wounding four others before killing himself.

In 1993, Israel agreed for the first time to negotiate with a Palestinian delegation whose members belonged officially to the PLO.

In 1994, North Korea agreed to allow U.N. monitors to inspect a secret nuclear laboratory.

In 2002, U.S. President George Bush told an economic forum that he was concerned but optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.

In 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the removal of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from all positions of influence was the key to Middle East peace.

In 2004, Hurricane Charley slammed into Florida's West Coast with winds of up to 145 mph, striking Punta Gorda and offshore islands, causing around 30 deaths and destroying or damaging 16,000 homes. The massive storm earlier hit Jamaica and Cuba, killing seven.

In 2004 sports, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece, with a record 202 countries and 10,500 athletes taking part.

In 2005, the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States decided not to allow homosexuals into the clergy.

Also in 2005, U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq, found a suspected chemical-weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals.

In 2006, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who spent his 80th birthday in a Havana hospital after surgery for gastro-intestinal bleeding, urged optimism but warned he might not recover. He promised Cubans he would "fight for it."

In 2007, Karl Rove, a controversial figure who had been U.S. President George Bush's chief political strategist for 13 years, announced his retirement.

Notable Birthdays for August 13
Those born on this date include:
- Social reformer Lucy Stone in 1818
- Sharpshooter Annie Oakley in 1860
- Scottish inventor John Baird, a pioneer in television technology, in 1888
- Comic actor Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz ) in 1895
- Actor Regis Toomey in 1898
- Film director Alfred Hitchcock in 1899
- Bandleader Skinnay Ennis in 1909
- Golfer Ben Hogan in 1912
- Actor Neville Brand in 1920
- Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1926 (age 82)
- Actor Pat Harrington Jr. in 1929 (age 79)
- Singer Don Ho in 1930
- Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders in 1933 (age 75)
- Opera singer Kathleen Battle in 1948 (age 60)
- Pop singer Dan Fogelberg in 1951 (age 57)
- Actor/announcer Danny Bonaduce ( The Partridge Family ) in 1959 (age 49)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 12, the 225th day of 2008 with 141 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 12
On August 12th, 1851, Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine.

Other Notable Events, August 12
In 1851, Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine. He set up business in Boston with $40 in capital.

In 1898, a peace protocol was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines and annexed Hawaii.

In 1966, as the Beatles were beginning their last tour, John Lennon apologized for saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

In 1984, the 23rd Olympic Games ended in Los Angeles with a record attendance of 5.5 million people despite a Soviet-led boycott.

In 1985, in aviation's worst single-plane disaster, 520 people died when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 slammed into a mountain in central Japan. Four passengers survived.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in his first television address since the Iran-Contra hearings, said he had been "stubborn" in pursuing a policy "that went astray."

In 1973, Jack Nicklaus won the Professional Golfers' Association championship for his 14th major title, surpassing Bobby Jones' record of 13 majors.

In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed a free trade pact with Mexico and Canada, creating the world's largest free trade bloc.

In 1997, Hudson Foods, Inc., a meat processor in Rogers, Ark., announced it was recalling 20,000 pounds of beef due to possible contamination by the E.coli bacterium. The recall ultimately was expanded to 25 million pounds of beef.

In 1998, the two largest Swiss banks and representatives of Holocaust survivors and their heirs agreed on a settlement of claims against the banks.

In 2002, monsoons in Asia claimed more than 1,600 lives while floodwaters tore through central Europe and in southwestern Russia, killing 58.

In 2003, a U.N. report said Afghanistan has re-emerged as the world's leading source for opium and heroin.

In 2004, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey announced his resignation after revealing a homosexual affair.

Also in 2004, the California Supreme Court invalidated more than 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued earlier in San Francisco.

In 2005, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga imposed a state of emergency following the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

In 2006, the Lebanese Cabinet voted unanimously to accept a U.N. resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel.

In 2007, a high tension wire brushed a bus in Mumbai igniting a fire that trapped passengers inside. Eleven people were reported killed and 40 others were injured.

Also in 2007, papers once belonging to East Germany's Stasi security ministry allegedly offered key evidence the government ordered attempted defectors to be shot, despite earlier denials.

Notable Birthdays for August 12
Those born on this date include:
- English poet laureate Robert Southey in 1774
- American painter Abbott Thayer, credited with noting camouflage in the animal world, in 1849
- Educator and poet Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote America the Beautiful, in 1859
- Mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart in 1876
- Christy Mathewson, baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, in 1880
- Moviemaker Cecil B. DeMille in 1881
- Mexican comic actor Cantinflas, born Mario Moreno Reyes, in 1911
- Actress Jane Wyatt in 1911
- Actor John Derek in 1926
- Country singer Buck Owens in 1929
- Country singer Porter Wagoner in 1927
- Author William Goldman in 1931 (age 77)
- Former national security adviser John Poindexter in 1936 (age 72)
- Actor George Hamilton in 1939 (age 69)
- Author Ann Martin ( The Babysitter's Club series) in 1955 (age 53)
- Tennis star Pete Sampras in 1971 (age 37)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 11, 2008


Today is Monday, Aug. 11, the 224th day of 2008 with 142 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 11
On August 11th, 1711, the first race was held at Ascot.

Other Notable Events, August 11
In 1877, Thomas Edison described the fundamentals of the phonograph to an assistant and instructed him to build the first one.

Also in 1877, American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars, which he named Phobos and Deimos.

In 1934, the first group of federal prisoners classified as "most dangerous" arrived at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay.

In 1954, a formal announcement ended the seven-year war in Indochina between France and forces of the communist Viet Minh.

In 1965, riots began in the Watts section of Los Angeles. In six days of violence, 34 people were killed.

In 1984, in an off-air radio voice check picked up by TV cameras, U.S. President Ronald Reagan joked, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." The Kremlin wasn't amused.

In 1991, a Lebanese terrorist group, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, released U.S. hostage Edward Tracy, held captive since October 1986.

In 1992, an electrical fire in the 62-story John Hancock office tower forced more than 3,000 workers in Boston's tallest building to flee down smoky, darkened stairwells.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed the "Brady Bill" handgun control measure and signed an executive order banning the import of semiautomatic assault-style handguns.

Also in 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton named Army Gen. John Shalikashvili to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.

In 1994, major league baseball players went on strike following the conclusion of the day's games.

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by The Citadel to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that ordered the all-male South Carolina military college to admit female students.

In 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton became the first president to use the line-item veto, a power granted by Congress the year before.

In 1998, two boys were found to be "delinquent," or guilty, of murder in the fatal March shootings of four students and a teacher at their middle school in Jonesboro, Ark.

Also in 1998, British Petroleum announced it would merge with Amoco Corp. in what would be the largest takeover of an American company by a foreign company.

In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton offered to commute the prison sentences of 16 Puerto Rican terrorists if they agreed to renounce violence and comply with other parole requirements.

Also in 1999, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to drop the theory of evolution from the public school curriculum.

In 2002, US Airways, the nation's sixth-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy.

In 2003, as peacekeepers entered Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to try to stop fighting between government and rebel troops, President Charles Taylor stepped down and flew into exile in Nigeria, ending a bloody chapter of African history. He vowed he would return.

In 2004, fighting in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf raged for the sixth straight day between forces loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and U.S.-backed Iraqi troops.

In 2005, right-wing activists staged one of the biggest demonstrations in Israel's history at Tel Aviv. An estimated 350,000 people protested the impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of four settlements in the northern West Bank.

Also in 2005, Salva Kit Mayandit was sworn in as Sudan vice president succeeding John Garang, whose death in a helicopter crash touched off violent rioting in which 130 people were killed.

In 2006, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for "full cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

In 2007, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to refrain from disciplining members of the clergy involved in same-sex relationships.

Also in 2007, the Taliban reportedly promised to release two of the 21 South Korean missionaries held in Afghanistan as a gesture of good faith but later reneged on its offer.

Notable Birthdays for August 11
Those born on this day include:
- Author Robert Ingersoll in 1833
- Songwriter Carrie Jacobs Bond ( I Love You Truly ) in 1862
- Art collector Joseph Hirshhorn in 1899
- Actor Lloyd Nolan in 1902
- Author Alex Haley in 1921
- Singer June Hutton in 1920
- TV host Mike Douglas in 1925
- Actress Arlene Dahl in 1928 (age 80)
- Columnist Marilyn vos Savant, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the world's highest IQ (reported at 228), in 1946 (age 62)
- Pop singer Eric Carmen, formerly of the Raspberries, in 1949 (age 59)
- Apple computer co-founder Stephen Wozniak in 1950 (age 58)
- Professional wrestler/actor Hulk Hogan, born Terry Gene Bollea, in 1953 (age 55)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today is Sunday, Aug. 10, the 223rd day of 2008 with 143 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 10
On August 10th, 1954, the groundbreaking ceremony for Saint Lawrence Seaway was held at Massena, New York.

Other Notable Events, August 10
In 1776, a committee of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggested the United States adopt "E pluribus unum" -- "Out of many, one" -- as the motto for its Great Seal.

In 1821, Missouri entered the United States as the 24th state and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River.

In 1977, the United States and Panama reached agreement in principle to transfer the Panama Canal to Panama by the year 2000.

Also in 1977, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested and charged with being the "Son of Sam," the serial killer who terrorized New York City for more than a year, killing six young people and wounding seven others.

In 1984, Nevada's chief U.S. district judge, Harry Claiborne, was convicted on tax evasion charges. It was the first conviction of a sitting federal judge.

In 1990, District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry was convicted on one misdemeanor cocaine possession charge and acquitted on another. The jury deadlocked on the 12 other counts and a mistrial was declared.

In 1991, China agreed in principle to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court's 107th justice and second female member.

In 1994, lawyers for U.S. President Bill Clinton sought the dismissal, for the duration of his presidency, of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by a former Arkansas state worker.

In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole selected former congressman, Cabinet secretary and NFL quarterback Jack Kemp as his running mate.

In 1999, a white supremacist gunman wounded five people, including three children, when he opened fire in the lobby of a Los Angeles Jewish community center. Police said Buford Furrow Jr. killed a letter carrier as he fled, surrendering the next day in Las Vegas.

In 2001, about 250 people were killed in a train wreck in Albania, caused by a mine set on the tracks by rebels.

In 2003, more than 80 prisoners tunneled their way out of Brazil's Joao Pessoa prison, one of the nation's top security facilities.

In 2004, U.S. Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., a former CIA clandestine operative, was nominated by U.S. President George Bush to head the spy agency.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush signed a 6-year, $286.4 billion transportation bill to build highways, bridges and other public works and contains also a reported $24 billion in "pork barrel" projects.

Also in 2005, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said he supports pre-screening airline passengers and providing them with special identification cards.

In 2006, Britain and the United States strengthened security after foiling an alleged plot to blow up airplanes flying between the two countries with liquid explosives. Police said as many as 10 aircraft had been targeted. U.S. officials banned the transportation of liquids and gel in carry-on luggage.

In 2007, the U.S. Federal Reserve put a reported $72 billion into the American financial system over two days to steady the volatile markets that fell in response to losses in the U.S. mortgage market.

Also in 2007, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution unanimously expanding the United Nation's role in Iraq, focused on helping promote reconciliation and safety of citizens.

Notable Birthdays for August 10
Those born on this day include:
- Edmund Jennings Randolph, the first U.S. attorney general, in 1753
- Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States, in 1874
- Actor Jack Haley (the Tin Woodsman in The Wizard of Oz ) in 1898
- Actress Norma Shearer in 1902
- Actress Rhonda Fleming in 1923 (age 85)
- Guitar maker Leo Fender in 1909
- Singer Jimmy Dean in 1928 (age 80)
- Singer Eddie Fisher in 1928 (age 80)
- Rock musician Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull in 1947 (age 61)
- Actress Rosanna Arquette in 1959 (age 49)
- Actor Antonio Banderas in 1960 (age 48)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today is Saturday, Aug. 9, the 222nd day of 2008 with 144 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 9
On August 9th, 1483, the Sistine Chapel was opened.

Other Notable Events, August 9
In 480 B.C., after one of history's most famous battles, Persian forces overran the heavily outnumbered Spartan defenders of the narrow pass at Thermopylae in Greece.

In 1936, American track star Jesse Owens won his fourth Olympic gold medal in Berlin.

In 1945, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were slain in Los Angeles by the followers of Charles Manson in the first of two nights of bizarre killings.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation became effective at noon and Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the nation's 38th chief executive.

In 1991, Vietnamese Prime Minister Do Muoi resigned. He was succeeded by Vo Van Kiet, who vowed to transform Vietnam into a market economy.

In 1995, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki was observed in the Japanese city.

In 1996, a Florida jury ordered $750,000 be paid to lung cancer patient Gracy Carter, whose suit against the maker of Lucky Strikes was based on company memos indicating knowledge of tobacco's addictiveness when the company said otherwise in public.

Also in 1996, an ill-looking Boris Yeltsin attended a brief swearing-in ceremony for his new term as president of Russia.

In 1997, Elvis Week began in Memphis as fans commemorated the 20th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

In 2001, U.S. President George Bush announced he would allow federal funding for limited stem-cell research using human embryos.

In 2003, more than 150 candidates signed up to try to replace California Gov. Gray Davis if he lost his recall vote. Davis was voted out of office and replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born Republican.

In 2004, Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for his role in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

In 2005, hundreds of Iraqi women staged a sit-in in a central Baghdad square to press for political rights in Iraq's new constitution.

In 2006, British authorities reported the arrest of 25 people believed involved in a major terrorist plot to blow up airplanes flying from Britain to the United States.

In 2007, U.S. investigators looking into the deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis said there was a possible design flaw and issued a national alert for other bridges. A 2006 federal report cited more than 70,000 U.S. bridges as structurally deficit.

Notable Birthdays for August 9
Those born on this day include:
- English author and angler Izaak Walton in 1593
- Pioneer Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget in 1896
- Violinist Zino Francescatti in 1902
- English actor/playwright Robert Shaw in 1927
- Hall of Fame basketball player Bob Cousy in 1928 (age 80)
- Australian tennis star Rod Laver in 1938 (age 70)
- Comedian David Steinberg in 1942 (age 66)
- Actor Sam Elliot in 1944 (age 64)
- Heavyweight boxer Ken Norton in 1945 (age 63)
- Actress Melanie Griffith in 1957 (age 51)
- Actress Amanda Bearse in 1958 (age 50)
- Pop singer Whitney Houston in 1963 (age 45)
- Actress Gillian Anderson ( The X-Files ) in 1968 (age 40)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 8, 2008


Today is Friday, Aug. 8, the 221st day of 2008 with 145 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 8

On August 8th, 1930, Betty Boop appeared in her first cartoon.

Other Notable Events, August 8
In 1911, the newsreel became a standard feature at U.S. movie screenings when the French film company Pathe began releasing weekly black-and-white features to theaters.

In 1940, the German Luftwaffe began a series of daylight air raids on Britain.

In 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, two days after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and seven days before Tokyo surrendered.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for president. He was elected in November, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace.

In 1974, facing expected impeachment over the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to announce his resignation. He left office the next day.

In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved membership applications from North and South Korea.

Also in 1991, British TV journalist John McCarthy was freed in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad, a Shiite Muslim faction, after being held since 1986.

In 1995, the regime of Iraq's Saddam Hussein was shaken when his two eldest daughters, their husbands and other senior army officers defected.

In 2003, U.S. leaders of the Episcopal Church approved a landmark local option resolution on the issue of same-sex marriages, leaving it to local dioceses whether to bless unions of gay and lesbian couples. Church leaders earlier in the week approved their first openly gay bishop.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush signed a major energy bill as oil and gas prices climbed to record levels. The measure sought to stimulate domestic production in traditional and alternative energy sources.

In 2006, Israel announced the evacuation of 15,000 civilians in the northernmost part of the country. About 250,000 had fled their homes because of the fighting with Hezbollah troops.

In 2007, Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on a charge of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer at a Minneapolis airport restroom.

Also in 2007, the first tornado recorded in the New York City borough of Brooklyn touched down, damaging some houses.

Notable Birthdays for August 8

Those born on this date include:
- The United States' first professional architect, Charles Bulfinch in 1763
- American black explorer Matthew Henson in 1866
- Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in 1879
- Poet Sara Teasdale in 1884
- Author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ( The Yearling ) in 1896
- Film music composer/conductor Victor Young ( Around The World in 80 Days ) in 1900
- Musician Benny Carter in 1907
- Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1908
- Actress Sylvia Sidney in 1910
- Movie producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1919 (age 88)
- Actor Rory Calhoun in 1922
- Aquatic actress Esther Williams in 1922 (age 86)
- Country singer Mel Tillis in 1932 (age 76)
- Actor Dustin Hoffman in 1937 (age 71)
- Singer Connie Stevens in 1938 (age 70)
- Actor Keith Carradine in 1949 (age 59)
- Writer/journalist Randy Shilts in 1951
- TV personality Deborah Norville in 1958 (age 50)
- Beatrice, Princess of York, in 1988 (age 20)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Today is Thursday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2008 with 146 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 7
On August 7th, 1927, the Peace Bridge opened between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.

Other Notable Events, August 7
In 1782, the Order of the Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington to honor Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

In 1942, U.S. Marines launched America's first offensive in World War II, landing on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.

In 1959, the satellite Explorer-6 transmitted man's first view of the Earth from space.

n 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first wife of a president since the days of Grover Cleveland to give birth while in the White House. The infant, a boy, died two days later.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent U.S. troops and air power to protect Saudi Arabian oil fields from possible Iraqi attack.

In 1998, bombs detonated within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.

In 2001, Uribe Velez was sworn in as president of Colombia in ceremonies interrupted by rebel shelling that killed 15 and wounded 60.

In 2004, Iraqi militants released a video reportedly showing the beheading of a U.S. citizen.

Also in 2004, two former top East German officials were convicted by a Berlin state court of failing to stop the killing of people trying to escape across the Berlin Wall.

In 2005, U.S. scientists announced they have successfully tested a vaccine to protect against bird flu.

Also in 2005, Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News "World News Tonight," who said in April he had lung cancer, died at his New York home at age 67.

In 2006, the usually secretive North Korea government announced 549 people had been killed by recent flooding and 295 remained missing.

In 2007, Amnesty International charged that China appeared to be cracking down on its human rights activists and journalists and using detention without trial as a pretext for getting ready for the 2008 Olympics.

Notable Birthdays for August 7
Those born on this date include:
- Carl Ritter, the German co-founder of modern geographical science, in 1779
- The World War I Dutch spy and courtesan known as Mata Hari (Margaret Gertrude Zelle) in 1876
- Actress Billie Burke in 1885
- British archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey in 1903
- American statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph J. Bunche in 1904
- Film director Nicholas Ray in 1911
- Comedian/producer Stan Freberg in 1926 (age 82)
- Actor Carl Switzer (Alfalfa in the Our Gang and Little Rascals movie comedies) in 1927
- Singer B.J. Thomas in 1942 (age 66)
- Humorist Garrison Keillor ( Prairie Home Companion ) in 1942 (age 66)
- Actor John Glover in 1944 (age 64)
- Actor David Duchovny ( The X-Files ) in 1960 (age 48)
- Actress Charlize Theron in 1975 (age 33)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Aug. 6, the 219th day of 2008 with 147 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 6
On August 6th, 1806, Francis II abdicated, ending the Holy Roman Empire.

Other Notable Events, August 6
In 1890, the first execution by electric chair was carried out. William Kemmler was put to death at Auburn Prison in New York for the ax murder of his girlfriend.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle of New York became the first American to swim the English Channel.

In 1940, Italy invaded British Somaliland, starting the Battle of North Africa in World War II.

In 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, after Nagasaki also was bombed, Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80 after a heart attack. He had led the Roman Catholic Church for 15 years.

In 1986, William Schroeder died of a stroke in Louisville, Ky., after 620 days with the Jarvik-7 mechanical heart. He was the longest-living permanent artificial heart patient.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council voted to impose worldwide economic and military embargo on Iraq as punishment for its invasion of Kuwait.

In 1993, Morihiro Hosokawa was elected prime minister of Japan.

In 1995, some 100,000 people attended a memorial service in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing that helped end World War II.

Also in 1995, police in Colombia captured Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the reputed co-leader of the Cali drug cartel.

In 1996, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced the discovery of evidence of a primitive life form on Mars.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8,259.31.

In 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show."

In 2005, Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, set up camp outside U.S. President George Bush's Texas ranch, bitterly criticizing the war and demanding to see him.

Also in 2005, a Newsweek poll gave U.S. President George Bush his lowest ratings on his handling of the war in Iraq. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they disapproved of the president's actions and 34 percent approved.

In 2006, at least 200 people watching floods in Mardan, Pakistan, plunged into the water when the 30-foot-high bridge they were standing on was swept away.

Also in 2006, a U.N. report said a huge shipload of smuggled bomb-making uranium uncovered by customs officials in Tanzania was headed for Iran.

In 2007, six coal miners were trapped 1,500 feet below ground after a shaft collapsed at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah. Despite several days of intense rescue efforts, mine officials reported no survivors.

Also in 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was reported considering a formal ban on lead in children's jewelry. Federal officials said China was responsible for 95 percent of the nearly 18 million pieces of children's jewelry pulled off the market in the past two years.

Notable Birthdays for August 6
Those born on this date include:
- English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1809
- Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons in 1881
- Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, also in 1881
- Movie cowboy star Hoot Gibson in 1892
- Comedian Lucille Ball in 1911
- Actor Robert Mitchum in 1917
- Former airline executive Freddie Laker in 1922
- Artist Andy Warhol in 1928
- Actress Catherine Hicks in 1951 (age 57)
- Film director M. Night Shyamalan in 1970 (age 38)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 5, the 218th day of 2008 with 148 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 5
On August 5th, 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

Other Notable Events, August 5
In 1833, Chicago was incorporated as a village with a population of about 200.

In 1858, after several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.

In 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first federal income tax. A wartime measure, it was rescinded in 1872.

In 1957, Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began airing nationally.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 35.

In 1963, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty outlawing nuclear tests in the Earth's atmosphere, in space or under the sea.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted ordering the Watergate investigation halted six days after the break-in. Nixon said he expected to be impeached.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.

In 1990, the United States sent a Marine company into Monrovia, Liberia's capital, to evacuate U.S. citizens because of a rebel threat to arrest Americans to provoke foreign intervention in the civil war.

In 1991, the Democrats ordered inquiries into allegations that Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign team delayed release of the U.S. hostages in Iran until after the election.

Also in 1991, Iraq admitted it misled U.N. inspectors about secret biological weapons and also admitted extracting plutonium from fuel at a nuclear plant.

In 1994, opponents of Fidel Castro clashed with police in Havana as thousands of Cubans took to the high seas trying to reach the United States.

Also in 1994, U.S. fighter jets acting under NATO orders attacked Bosnian Serb positions after the Serbs seized weapons from a U.N depot. The weapons were returned.

In 1997, North Korea opened talks with the United States, China and South Korea aimed at negotiating a permanent treaty to replace the armistice agreed to after the Korean War.

In 1998, Iraq announced it would no longer cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and demanded the lifting of the U.N. sanctions imposed in 1991.

In 2003, U.S. Episcopal officials approved election of their first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a move that threatened to create a schism within the church in the United States.

Also in 2003, a series of explosions rocked an international hotel in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing 14 people and injuring 150.

In 2004, twin Filipino boys joined at the top of their heads were listed in critical but stable condition after U.S. doctors surgically separated them.

In 2005, North Korea's refusal to give up its nuclear programs bogged down multinational disarmament talks, now in their 11th day in Beijing.

In 2006, the United States and France agreed on a cease-fire proposal for Lebanon, ending a week of intense negotiations in the Israel-Hezbollah fight. Hezbollah initially opposed the proposal and Israeli ministers said they would study it.

Also in 2006, the Los Angeles Times said newly declassified Army files confirm U.S. atrocities in Vietnam were more extensive than reported with at least 320 alleged incidents.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush signed into law a bill to allow government eavesdropping of telephone conversations and e-mails of American citizens and people overseas without a warrant if there's "reasonable belief" that one party is not in the United States.

Also in 2007, at least 240 people were reported dead and millions more suffering from food and clean water shortages in monsoon flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Officials estimated 14 million people in India and 7 million in Bangladesh were in need of help.

Notable Birthdays for August 5
Those born on this date include:
- French novelist Guy de Maupassant in 1850
- Poet and critic Conrad Aiken in 1889
- Film director John Huston in 1906
- Actor Robert Taylor in 1911
- Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, in 1930 (age 78)
- Actor John Saxon in 1935 (age 73)
- Actress Loni Anderson in 1946 (age 62)
- Actor Jonathan Silverman in 1966 (age 42)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 4, 2008


Today is Monday, Aug. 4, the 217th day of 2008 with 149 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 4
On August 4th, 1902, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel under the River Thames opened.

Other Notable Events, August 4
In 1735, freedom of the press was established in the American colonies when John Peter Zenger, publisher of a New York City newspaper, was acquitted of libel charges.

In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, touching off World War I. The United States initially declared itself neutral.

In 1944, acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse.

In 1949, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake leveled 50 towns in Ecuador.

In 1958, Billboard magazine introduced its "Hot 100" chart, covering the 100 most popular pop singles in the country. The first No. 1 was Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool."

In 1964, the remains of three slain civil rights workers whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention were found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Miss.

In 1972, Arthur Bremer was found guilty of shooting and severely wounding Alabama Gov. George Wallace who was campaigning for president. Bremer was sentenced to 63 years in prison.

In 1984, the African Republic of Upper Volta changed its named to Burkina Faso, which means "the land of upright men."

In 1991, the PLO agreed to attend a regional peace conference and offered to compromise with Israel on the make-up of the Palestinian delegation.

Also in 1991, the Greek liner Oceanos sank off the South Africa coast in heavy seas. All 571 on board were rescued but the captain and crew were reported to have abandoned ship.

In 2003, The Los Angeles Times reported it had evidence that Iran was close to possessing a nuclear bomb.

In 2004, opponents of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., launched a lengthy attack on his war record with a TV ad blitz that Republican Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called "dishonest and dishonorable."

In 2004, three former detainees at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison claimed they were beaten until they finally gave false confessions.

In 2005, in a videotape broadcast, al-Qaida threatened Britain and the United States with attacks if their armies did not quit "the land of Islam," in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, authorities in Phoenix arrested two men in 24 "serial shooter" attacks that killed a reported 14 people in Arizona over the previous year.

In 2007, The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation calling on most utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.

In 2007 sports, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 755th career home run tying Hank Aaron's all-time major league record. He broke the record three days later and finished the season at 762 homers. His achievements, however, were clouded by accusations of using performance-enhancing steroids.

Notable Birthdays for August 4
Those born on this date include:
- English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1792
- Scottish comedian Harry Lauder in 1870
- Queen Elizabeth, mother of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in 1900
- Legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong in 1901
- Swedish architect Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving 100,000 Jews from the Nazis during World War II, in 1912
- Former UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas, in 1920 (age 88)
- Actor Richard Belzer in 1944 (age 64)
- Actor Billy Bob Thornton in 1955 (age 53)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Today is Sunday, Aug. 3, the 216th day of 2008 with 150 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 3
On August 3rd, 1958, the USS Nautilus traveled under the Arctic ice cap.

Other Notable Events, August 3
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain for the New World with a convoy of three small ships -- the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria -- and fewer than 100 crewmen.

In 1914, Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium. The following day, Britain declared war on Germany and World War I was under way.

In 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine "Nautilus" crossed under the North Pole.

In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike. The strikers were fired within one week.

In 1990, the prime ministers of East and West Germany agreed to move up unification to early fall and rescheduled all-German elections for Oct. 14.

In 1991, Japanese Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto publicly apologized but refused to resign for involvement in loans worth $10 million to three friends.

In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he wouldn't honor agreements with the Palestine National Authority unless it cracked down on terrorism.

In 1998, talks broke down between Iraqi officials and Richard Butler, the head of the U.N. team overseeing the dismantling of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

In 2004, Missouri voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriages.

Also in 2004, the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor was opened to the public for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In 2005, in the first emergency repair conducted in space, astronauts fixed a potentially dangerous problem by removing two strips of protruding cloth from the underside of the space shuttle Discovery that could have overheated during re-entry.

Also in 2005, South Korea scientists reported the first successful cloning of a dog, considered one of the most difficult animals to copy.

In 2006, Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, told Congress that sectarian violence in Baghdad was "probably as bad as I've seen it" and predicted a possible civil war.

Also in 2006, Ukrainian leaders reached a coalition agreement after President Victor Yushchenko nominated his archrival as prime minister.

In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed a bill allowing the National Security Agency to monitor e-mail and telephone communications between the United States and foreign countries without a court warrant if terrorism was believed to be involved.

Notable Birthdays for August 3
Those born on this date include:
- Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the modern elevator, in 1811
- World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle in 1900
- Orchestra leader Ray Bloch in 1902
- Actress Dolores del Rio in 1905
- Band leader Les Elgart in 1917
- Author Leon Uris in 1924
- Singer Tony Bennett in 1926 (age 82)
- TV personality and lifestyle consultant Martha Stewart in 1941 (age 67)
- Actor Martin Sheen in 1940 (age 68)
- Actor Jay North in 1951 (age 57)

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2007 with 151 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

This Day in History, August 2
On August 2nd, 1870, the Tower Subway, the world's first underground railway, opened in London.

Other Notable Events, August 2
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, was signed by members of the Continental Congress.

In 1923, U.S. President Warren G. Harding, on a tour of Alaska and the West Coast, died of a stroke in a San Francisco hotel at the age of 58 as rumors of a potential corruption scandal swirled in Washington. He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

In 1934, with the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany under the title of fuehrer, or "leader."

In 1968, a major earthquake in the Philippines rocked Manila, killing 307 people.

In 1974, John Dean, counsel to U.S. President Richard Nixon, was sentenced to 1-to-4 years in prison for his part in the Watergate cover-up.

In 1988, U.S. military investigators concluded that crew errors led to the shooting down on July 3 of an Iranian passenger jet by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

In 1990, Iraq invaded and overran neighboring Kuwait after weeks of tension over disputed land and oil production quotas.

In 1994, Rwanda's new coalition government said it would prosecute those responsible for the massacres in recent months.

In 1999, in a magazine interview, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said her husband lied at first about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky to protect her, his wife.

In 2000, the Republican Party nominated George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to head its ticket for the November elections.

In 2001, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "patients' bill of rights" proposal, sending it to a conference committee with the Senate, which already had passed its own version.

Also in 2001, former Bosnian Gen. Radislav Krstic was found guilty of genocide in the massacre of 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

In 2003, the Saudi government issued a formal denial that two Saudi figures reportedly linked to Sept. 11 terrorists were intelligence agents.

In 2004, U.S. President George Bush, giving qualified support to a report from a commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks, said he favored the appointment of a national intelligence director.

Also in 2004, crude oil prices rose sharply after the terror alert in the United States was hiked over an al-Qaida threat, posting a record $43.92 a barrel before slipping back.

In 2005, U.S. President George Bush signed the Central America Trade Agreement with six countries, granting greater access for U.S. products.

Also in 2005, an Air France jumbo jet caught fire after skidding off the runway at Toronto's international airport but all 297 passengers and 12-member crew survived.

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI renewed his call for a cease-fire in the Middle East fight between Israel and Hezbollah, saying nothing "can justify the spilling of innocent blood."

Also in 2006, at least 12 people, mostly children and athletes, were killed and 14 wounded when two bombs in gym bags exploded near a soccer field in Baghdad.

Notable Birthdays for August 2
Those born on this date include:
- Singer Helen Morgan in 1900
- Actress Myrna Loy in 1905
- Actress Beatrice Straight in 1914
- Band leader Johnny Long in 1915
- Author James Baldwin in 1924
- Actor Carroll O'Connor in 1924
- Filmmaker Wes Craven in 1939 (age 69)
- Actor Peter O'Toole in 1932 (age 76)
- Actress Joanna Cassidy in 1945 (age 63)
- Actress Kathryn Harrold in 1950 (age 58)
- Actress Victoria Jackson in 1959 (age 49)
- Actress Mary Louise Parker in 1964 (age 44)
- Actor Edward Furlong in 1977 (age 31)
- Writer/director/actor Kevin Smith in 1970 (age 38)

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Friday, August 1, 2008


Today is Friday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2006 with 152 to follow.

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

This Day in History, August 1
On August 1st, 1831, the London Bridge opened.

Other Notable Events, August 1
In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.

In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.

In 1907, an Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps, and this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force bought its first airplane, a craft built by the Wright brothers.

In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 pilot spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles.

In 1981, MTV premiered with the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."

In 1990, Muslim rebels surrendered in Trinidad and Tobago, five days after a coup in which Prime Minister Arthur Robinson and dozens of others were taken hostage.

In 1991, Israel agreed to attend a Middle East Peace conference, but only if the Palestinian Liberation Organization was excluded.

In 1993, the rain-bloated Mississippi River crested in St. Louis at 49.4 feet, 2.5 feet below the top of the floodwall protecting the central part of the city.

In 1994, Lisa Marie Presley confirmed rumors that she had married pop star Michael Jackson May 26 in the Dominican Republic. The couple divorced less than two years later.

Also in 1994, Haiti declared a state of siege following passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing an invasion of the Caribbean nation.

In 1995, Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced it was buying CBS, one day after Disney announced its purchase of Capital Cities/ABC.

In 1996, Mohammed Farah Aidid, who had controlled much of Somalia during its civil war, died of wounds suffered during a skirmish with another faction.

In 2002, the United Nations said it found no evidence to back up claims by the Palestinians that the Israeli army had massacred Palestinian refugees at a camp in Jenin.

In 2003, the U.N. Security Council approved a multinational force to make peace in civil war-torn Liberia. The resolution made no mention of U.S. troops.

Also in 2003, a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at a military hospital in Chechnya, Russia.

In 2004, U.S. Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge said five buildings housing financial institutions in New York City; Newark, N.J.; and Washington, including the New York Stock Exchange, were reported to be terrorist targets.

Also in 2004, more than 400 people perished in a supermarket fire on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay.

In 2005, bypassing U.S. Senate opposition with a recess appointment, U.S. President George W. Bush named John Bolton to be the United States envoy to the United Nations.

Also in 2005, Saudi Arabian King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, who had ruled since 1982, died in a Riyadh hospital after a long illness at the age of 83. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah.

Notable Birthdays for August 1
Those born on this date include:
- Claudius I, born in 10 B.C.
- French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, known for his theory of evolution, in 1744
- Explorer William Clark in 1770
- Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," in 1779
- Lawyer and writer Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of "Two Years Before the Mast," in 1815
- Author Herman Melville ("Moby Dick") in 1819
- Actor Arthur Hill in 1922
- Actor Geoffrey Holder in 1930 (age 78)
- Comic actor Dom DeLuise in 1933 (age 75)
- French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent in 1936 (age 73)
- Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead rock group, in 1942
- Actress Tempestt Bledsoe in 1973 (age 35)

Copyright 2006 by United Press International