Today is Friday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2003 with 152 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 Claudius I, born in 19 BC; French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, known for his theory of evolution, in 1744; explorer William Clark in 1770; Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," in 1779; lawyer and writer Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of "Two Years Before the Mast," in 1815; author Herman Melville in 1819; actors Arthur Hill in 1922 (age 81) and Geoffrey Holder in 1930 (age 73); comic actor Dom DeLuise in 1933 (age 70); French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent in 1936 (age 67); Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead rock group, in 1942; and actress Tempestt Bledsoe in 1973 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.
In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.
In 1907, an Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps, and this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force bought its first airplane. The aircraft was built by the Wright brothers.
In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 pilot spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles.
In 1981, MTV premiered at 12:01 a.m. (ET). The first video aired was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."
In 1988, the city council of Yonkers, N.Y., rejected a court-ordered housing integration plan, risking heavy fines and municipal bankruptcy.
In 1990, Moslem rebels surrendered in Trinidad and Tobago, five days after launching a coup and taking Prime Minister Arthur Robinson and dozens of others hostage.
In 1991, Israel agreed to attend a Middle East Peace conference, but only if the PLO was excluded as well as Palestinians from East Jerusalem.
In 1993, the Mississippi River finally crested in St. Louis at 49.4 feet, 2.5 feet below the top of the floodwall protecting the central part of the city.
Also in 1994, Haiti declared a state of siege following passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing an invasion of the Caribbean nation.
In 1995, Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced it was buying CBS, one day after Disney announced its purchase of Capital Cities/ABC.
In 1996, two Arkansas bankers prosecuted by the Whitewater special counsel were acquitted on fraud and conspiracy charges while the jury deadlocked on others.
Also in 1996, Mohammed Farah Aidid, who had controlled much of Somalia during its civil war, died of wounds suffered during a skirmish with another faction.
In 2002, the United Nations said it found no evidence to back up claims by the Palestinians that the Israeli army had massacred Palestinian refugees at a camp in Jenin.
A thought for the day: in "An Enemy of the People," playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote, "A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."