The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 23, 2002 at 3:00 AM

Today is Friday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2002 with 130 to follow.

The moon is waning, moving toward a new phase.

The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

The evening star is Mercury, Venus, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include American naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry in 1785; poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters in 1869; Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, hero of Bataan in World War II, in 1883; humorist Will Cuppy in 1884; cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller (creator of "Nancy") in 1905; dancer/actor Gene Kelly in 1912; actresses Vera Miles in 1930 (age 72) and Barbara Eden in 1934 (age 68); political comedian Mark Russell in 1932 (age 70); rock drummer Keith Moon of "The Who" in 1948; actress Shelley Long and singer/actor Rick Springfield both in 1949 (age 53); and basketball player Kobe Bryant in 1978 (age 24).

On this date in history:

In 1926, silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino died, sending his fans into hysterical mourning.

In 1927, despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their innocence, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for murder.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact. Less than two years later, Germany launched a blitzkrieg attack on Russia.

In 1982, Beirut Christian leader Beshir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. He was assassinated less than one month later and was succeeded by his brother, Amin.

In 1991, Russian Republic President Boris Yeltsin pressured Soviet President Gorbachev into replacing his cabinet in the wake of a failed coup.

In 1992, three people were killed when their truck was struck at a railroad crossing by an Amtrak passenger train in Wallingford, Conn.

In 1996, tobacco regulation, recommended by the FDA, was approved by President Clinton.

In 1998, Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his reformist premier, Sergei Kiriyenko and brought back Viktor Chernomyrdin as acting premier.

In 1999, Berlin once again became the capital of Germany.

A thought for the day: Ogden Nash said, "Don't try to rewrite what the moving finger has writ, and don't ever look over your shoulder."

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