The Almanac

By United Press International   |   July 31, 2002 at 3:00 AM

Today is Wednesday, July 31, the 212th day of 2002 with 153 to follow.

The moon is waning, moving toward its last quarter.

The morning stars are Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include author and jurist James Kent in 1763; Confederate Army guerrilla leader William Quantrill, whose wartime raid on Lawrence, Kan., left some 150 people dead, in 1837; pollster Elmo Burns Roper Jr., in 1900; economist Milton Friedman and former TV talk-show host and columnist Irv Kupcinet, both in 1912 (age 90); actor Don Murray in 1929 (age 73); actress France Nuyen in 1939 (age 63 and Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 (age 58; singer Gary Lewis in 1946 (age 56; Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong in 1951 (age 51); Bill Berry, guitarist for the rock band R.E.M., in 1958 (age 44); and actors Wesley Snipes in 1962 (age 40) and Dean Cain ("Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman") in 1966 (age 36).

On this date in history:

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 United States 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 1972, Sen. Thomas Eagleton, D-Mo., withdrew as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, six days after disclosing previous hospitalization and psychiatric treatment.

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. Ellsburg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.

In 1991, the 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, including 11 Americans, crashed in bad weather in Nepal.

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

In 1997, Congress gave final approval to legislation that would balance the federal budget by 2002.

A thought for the day: Alexander Dumas the Younger said, "Business? It's quite simple. It's other people's money."

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