Today is Friday, July 9, the 191st day of 2004 with 175 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, in 1819; Nicola Tesla, inventor of the the electromagnetic motor; historian Samuel Eliot Morison in 1887; English romance novelist Barbara Cartland in 1904; pro football owner, coach Paul Brown in 1908; actor/singer Ed Ames in 1927 (age 77); English artist David Hockney in 1937 (age 67); actors Brian Dennehy in 1938 (age 66) and Richard Roundtree in 1942 (age 62); athlete-turned-actor O.J. Simpson in 1947 (age 57); TV host/entertainer John Tesh in 1952 (age 52); actors Tom Hanks in 1956 (age 48), Kelly McGillis in 1957 (age 47), Jimmy Smits in 1958 (age 46), and Fred Savage in 1976 (age 28); and singer/actress Courtney Love in 1965 (age 39).
On this date in history:
In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis tournament was staged at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
In 1893, Chicago surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.
In 1943, American, Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.
In 1947, Florence Blanchard, a nurse, was appointed lieutenant colonel in the Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent military rank in the U.S.
In 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No.1 on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock 'n' roll era.
In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if American forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.
In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 jetliner crashed in Kenner, La., shortly after takeoff from New Orleans. 154 people died.
In 1990, two veteran space shuttle commanders were grounded for violating flight safety rules. It marked the first time that astronauts assigned to flight crews had been grounded for other than medical reasons.
Also in 1992, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and HSH Associates said fixed rates on conventional home loans dropped to their lowest levels in almost 19 years.
And in 1992, at least 15 people were injured when a 5.4 magnitude aftershock to the previous month's major earthquake hit the Big Bear, Calif., area.
And in 1992, journalist Eric Sevareid died of stomach cancer at age 79.
In 1996, former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm said he wanted the presidential nomination of Ross Perot's Reform Party. He didn't get it.
In 1997, NBC was the lone holdout when the major networks agreed to implement a revised and expanded television ratings system.
In 2002, the stock market continued to drop in the wake of corporate accounting scandals. President George W. Bush urged Congress to enact reform measures aimed at what was seen as a climate of greed among some top business executives.
In 2002 sports, the all-star baseball game ended in an 11-inning, 7-7 tie when Commissioner Bud Selig halted proceedings saying the teams had run out of pitchers.
In 2003, Gen. Tommy Franks, former head of the Central Command in Iraq, told the Senate that U.S. forces in Iraq could not be reduced in "the foreseeable future."
Also in 2003, the director of South Korea's intelligence service said North Korea has carried out some 70 high-explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons development.
A thought for the day: David McCord said, "Life is the garment we continually alter, but which never seems to fit."