Friday, July 31, 2009

Today is Friday, July 31, the 212th day of 2009 with 153 to follow.

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

This Day in History, July 31
On July 31st, 781, the oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji took place.

Other Notable Events, July 31
In 1498, on his third voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad.

In 1556 Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order of Roman Catholic missionaries and educators, died in Rome.

In 1792, director David Rittenhouse laid the cornerstone in Philadelphia for the U.S. Mint, the first building of the federal government.

In 1964, Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, took the first close-up images of the moon.

In 1974, Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. Ellsberg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.

In 1991, the U.S. Senate overturned a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat.

In 1992, all aboard were killed when a Thai Airways jetliner carrying more than 100 people crashed in bad weather in Nepal.

In 1995, the Walt Disney Co. announced it was buying Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.

In 2002, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a reputed Russian crime figure, was arrested at his resort in Italy on charges he tried to fix two ice skating events at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

In 2003, North Korea reversed its long-standing opposition to multilateral talks on its nuclear weapons program.

In 2004, Pakistani investigators blamed al-Qaida for an assassination attempt on Prime Minister-designate Shaukat Aziz. Eight people died in the suicide bombing attack.

In 2006, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, two weeks before his 80th birthday, formally transferred power temporarily to his brother Raul in preparation for intestinal surgery.

In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, in a 411-8 vote, a bill overhauling ethics rules focused on large donations and gifts to lawmakers.

Also in 2007, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to deploy as many as 26,000 peacekeepers to end the violence in Sudan's Darfur region that reportedly killed about 200,000 people since 2003.

And, media mogul Rupert Murdoch won approval to buy the Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

In 2008, Exxon Mobil announced it had broken its own record for the greatest quarterly profit for a corporation with $11.68 billion.

Also in 2008, a federal judge ruled that U.S. President George Bush's advisers cannot ignore congressional subpoenas in an inquiry into the firing of several U.S. attorneys. Bush had said they were covered by executive privilege.

Notable Birthdays for July 31
Those born on this date include:
- Author and jurist James Kent in 1763
- Confederate Army guerrilla leader William Quantrill, in 1837
- Pollster Elmo Burns Roper Jr., in 1900
- Economist Milton Friedman in 1912
- Former TV talk-show host and columnist Irv Kupcinet in 1912
- Actor Don Murray in 1929 (age 80)
- Actress France Nuyen in 1939 (age 70)
- Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 (age 65)
- Singer Gary Lewis in 1945 (age 64)
- Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong in 1951 (age 58)
- Actor Wesley Snipes in 1962 (age 47)
- Actor Dean Cain ( Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman ) in 1966 (age 43)

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today is Thursday, July 30, the 211th day of 2009 with 154 to follow.

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

This Day in History, July 30
On July 30th, 1733, the first Freemasons lodge was opened in what would become the United States.

Other Notable Events, July 30
In 1619, in Jamestown, Va., the first elected legislative assembly in the New World -- the House of Burgesses -- convened in the choir loft of the town's church.

In 1932, Walt Disney released his first color cartoon, "Flowers and Trees," made in three-color Technicolor.

In 1936, author Margaret Mitchell sold the film rights for "Gone With the Wind" to MGM for $50,000, most ever for a first novel.

In 1974, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 21-17, approved a third article of impeachment against U.S. President Richard Nixon, charging him with ignoring congressional subpoenas. Nixon resigned before the issue went to trial.

In 1975, former Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa was last seen outside a suburban Detroit restaurant. He was declared dead in 1982.

In 1976, Kate Smith made her last public appearance on this date, singing her signature number "God Bless America" on a TV program honoring the U.S. Bicentennial.

In 1991, a special U.N. commission to Iraq announced it had found 46,000 chemical shells and warheads and 3,000 tons of raw materials for weapons.

In 1994, the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Russia decided to tighten sanctions on the Serb-dominated government in what remained of Yugoslavia.

In 1997, suicide bombers detonated two bombs in an outdoor market in West Jerusalem, killing themselves and 13 other people.

In 1999, a Maryland grand jury indicted Linda Tripp for illegally taping her phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II was present for the canonization of Pedro de San Jose Betanur of Guatemala, Central America's first saint, and Juan Diego of Mexico City, first American Indian saint.

In 2003, U.S. President George Bush indicated he would favor a law or constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages. The Vatican also condemned gay unions.

In 2004, the U.N. Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution demanding Sudan disarm within 30 days and prosecute those responsible for thousands of deaths in Darfur.

In 2005, British police said they arrested six men and one woman in the failed July 21 London subway bombings. That brought to 13 the number of suspects in custody in the apparent, unsuccessful attempt to match the July 7 attack that killed 56.

In 2006, an Israeli air raid leveled a building housing civilians in the Lebanese village of Qana, reportedly killing at least 65 people, mostly women and children. Israeli officials said the wrong building was hit.

In 2007, federal lawmen swept across the Alaska home of seven-term Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, allegedly looking for evidence in an ongoing bribery investigation involving a convicted oil field contractor.

In 2008, while there were glimmers of hope, the overall U.S. economy continued its slump. July reports put the month's lost jobs at 51,000 when the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent, a four-year high. The Dow Jones industrials ended the month up 0.3 percent at 11,378.02 and crude oil prices closed at $124 a barrel, down 11 percent from June.

Also in 2008, embroiled in a corruption investigation into alleged events before he became Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert announced he was resigning his post as soon as his party chose a new leader.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Notable Birthdays for July 30
Those born on this date include:
- English novelist Emily Bronte in 1818
- Auto pioneer Henry Ford in 1863
- Baseball player/manager Casey Stengel in 1890
- English sculptor Henry Moore in 1898
- Baseball Commissioner Allan Bud Selig in 1934 (age 75)
- Film director Peter Bogdanovich in 1939 (age 70)
- Singer Paul Anka in 1941 (age 68)
- California governor/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1947 (age 62)
- Actor Ken Olin in 1954 (age 55)
- Actress Delta Burke in 1956 (age 53)
- Actor Laurence Fishburne in 1961 (age 48)
- Actress Lisa Kudrow in 1963 (age 46)
- Actress Hilary Swank in 1974 (age 35)

Copyright 2009 by United Press International