Summer begins at 8:57 p.m. EDT, in the Northern Hemisphere.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include the first First Lady, Martha Washington, in 1731; philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre in 1905; actors Jane Russell in 1921 (age 83), Maureen Stapleton in 1925 (age 79), Bernie Kopell ("The Love Boat") in 1933 (age 71), Monty Markham in 1938 (age 66), and Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter , both in 1947 (age 57); actress/TV host Mariette Hartley and comic actor Joe Flaherty, both in 1940 (age 64); former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1953 (age 51); actor Robert Pastorelli in 1954; actress Juliette Lewis in 1973 (age 31); and Britain's Prince William in 1982 (age 22).
On this date in history:
In 1788, the U.S. Constitution became effective when the ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified it.
In 1945, Japanese defenders of Okinawa Island surrendered to American troops.
In 1964, three civil rights workers disappeared on their way to investigate a church burning in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam Aug. 4.
In 1982, John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shooting of President Reagan and three other people.
In 1972, Hurricane Agnes hit the eastern seaboard, wreaking havoc across seven states. Six days later, 118 people were dead.
In 1984, the United States reported that an explosion in mid-May at a Soviet navy supply depot 900 miles north of Moscow had apparently killed more than 200 people.
In 1985, international experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conclusively identified the bones of a 1979 drowning victim as the remains of Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele, ending a 40-year search for the so-called "angel of death" of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Iran, killing as many as 50,000 people.
Also in 1990, the U.S. House of Representatives failed by 34 votes to pass a flag-protection constitutional amendment.
In 1992, "Batman Returns" smashed the box office record with a weekend opening estimated at $44.6 million.
In 1997, Cambodia announced the capture of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.
In 1998, opposition leader Andres Pastrana Arango was elected president of Columbia by a narrow margin.
In 1999, President Clinton began a two-day visit to the Balkans, where he visited with Kosovo refugees in Slovenia and Macedonia.
In 2000, NASA announced that its Mars Global Surveyor had spotted grooved surface features, suggesting a relatively recent water flow on the planet.
In 2002, as the Catholic Church tried to deal with reports of sexual abuse among the clergy, a priest in Texas was arrested on charges that two years earlier he had raped a woman who was seeking advice.
Also in 2003, an Arizona wildfire that had exceeded 6,300 acres threatened the resort town of Oracle for a time with more than 700 firefighters on the scene.
A thought for the day: Confucius said, "The only people who cannot change are the most wise and the most stupid."
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UPI Almanac for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014