The Almanac

By United Press International   |   July 7, 2004 at 3:30 AM

Today is Wednesday, July 7, the 189th day of 2004 with 177 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 composer Gustav Mahler in 1860; painter Marc Chagall in 1887; film director George Cukor in 1899; film director Vittorio DeSica in 1902; baseball pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige and zither player Anton Karras ("The Third Man") in 1906; science fiction author Robert Heinlein in 1907; composer Gian Carlo Menotti in 1911; Chicago 7 defense lawyer William Kunstler in 1919; Ezzard Charles, heavyweight boxing champion, in 1921; singer Mary Ford in 1928; French fashion designer Pierre Cardin in 1922 (age 82); bandleader Doc Severinsen in 1927 (age 77); actor Vince Edwards and singer Mary Ford in 1928; former Beatle Ringo Starr in 1940 (age 64); actors Shelley Duvall in 1949 (age 55) and Bill Campbell in 1959 (age 45); and figure skater Michelle Kwan in 1980 (age 24).

On this date in history:

In 1846, U.S. Navy Commodore J.D. Sloat proclaimed the annexation of California by the United States.

In 1865, four people convicted of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Lincoln were hanged in Washington.

In 1898, President William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation of Hawaii by the United States.

In 1946, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) became the first American to be canonized.

In 1973, President Nixon said he would not appear before the Senate Watergate Investigating Committee or give it access to White House files.

In 1977, first female cadets permitted at West Point.

In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was chosen by President Reagan to become the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. She was unanimously approved by the Senate.

In 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began six days of testimony before the congressional Iran-Contra committee.

In 1994, 16 people died in Americus, Ga., when 21.1 inches of rain fell.

In 1998, a Los Angeles jury convicted Mikail Markhasev, 19, of murder in the January 1997 shooting death of Ennis Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby.

In 1999, a Miami-Dade Co. jury held the leading tobacco companies liable for various illnesses of Florida smokers. The class-action lawsuit, filed in 1994, was the first of its kind to actually come to trial.

In 2000, the second test of an anti-missile system failed again when the missile missed its target by 100 yards.

In 2002 sports, Lleyton Hewitt of Australia won the men's singles crown at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 conquest of David Nalbandian of Argentina. The Williams sisters, who the day before had played for the women's singles title with Serena beating Venus, got together to capture women's doubles, 6-2, 7-5, over Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Paola Suarez of Argentina.

In 2003, the 37-member Iraqi governing council, representing all major ethnic and religious groups in the nation, began work aimed at taking control by the end of the month.

Also in 2003, actor and dancer Buddy Ebsen, known to millions as hillbilly Jed Clampett and detective Barnaby Jones, died in Southern California. He was 95.

A thought for the day: Benjamin Franklin wrote in "Poor Richard's Almanac" that "If you'd know the value of money, go and borrow some."

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