The Almanac

By United Press International   |   July 21, 2002 at 3:00 AM

Today is Sunday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2002 with 163 to follow.

The moon is waxing toward a new phase.

The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn.

The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include composer Chauncey Olcott ("When Irish Eyes Are Smiling") in 1860; author Ernest Hemingway and poet Hart Crane, both in 1899; Canadian communications theorist Marshall McLuhan in 1911; violinist Isaac Stern in 1920; singer Kay Starr in 1922 (age 80); producer Norman Jewison in 1926 (age 76); actor/comedians Don Knotts in 1924 (age 78) and Robin Williams in 1952 (age 50); former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in 1938 (age 64); actor Edward Herrmann in 1943 (age 59); former singer Cat Stevens, who now goes by the name Yusef Islam, in 1948 (age 54); cartoonist Garry Trudeau in 1949 (age 53); and actor Jon Lovitz in 1957 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1861, the first major military engagement of the Civil War occurred at Bull Run Creek, Va.

In 1873, outlaw Jesse James held up the Rock Island express train at Adair, Iowa, and escaped with $3,000.

In 1930, the U.S. Veterans Administration was established.

In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin climbed back into the lunar module, Eagle, and lifted off from the surface of the moon.

In 1970, after 11 years of construction, the massive billion-dollar Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt was completed, ending the cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region but triggering an environmental controversy.

In 1991, Jordan joined Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in agreeing to regional peace talks.

In 1992, a judge in Pontiac, Mich., dismissed murder charges against euthanasia advocate Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian.

Also in 1992, 43 people were injured when a tour bus carrying Girls Scouts and their chaperones overturned on a steep, winding highway in Nevada.

In 2000, a report from special counsel John Danforth cleared Attorney General Janet Reno and the government of wrongdoing in the April 19, 1993, fire that ended the Branch Davidian siege near Waco, Texas.

A thought for the day: Balzac called bureaucracy "the gigantic power set in motion by fools."

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