The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 3, 2003 at 3:30 AM

Today is Sunday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2003 with 150 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn, Uranus, Venus, Mars and Neptune, The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto. Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They 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 1918; author Leon Uris in 1924 (age 79); singer Tony Bennett in 1926 (age 77); TV personality and lifestyle consultant Martha Stewart in 1941 (age 62); and actors Martin Sheen in 1940 (age 63), Jay North in 1951 (age 52) and Victoria Jackson in 1958 (age 45).

On this date in history:

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, accompanied by 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 American nuclear submarine "Nautilus" crossed under the North Pole.

In 1966, comic Lenny Bruce died from a morphine overdose at age 40.

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 from Dec. 2 to 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 1993, a U.S. federal court ruled that John Demjanjuk, whose conviction on charges he was death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible" was overturned earlier by the Israeli Supreme Court, should be allowed to return to the United States.

In 1994, the state of Arkansas executed three convicted killers the same day.

In 1997, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would not honor agreements made by Israel's previous government with the Palestinians unless the Palestine National Authority 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.

A thought for the day: it was Henry David Thoreau who said, "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in milk."

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