Today is Friday, July 16, the 198th day of 2004 with 168 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 English painter Joshua Reynolds in 1723; Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, in 1821; Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen in 1872; composer/pianist W.C. Handy in 1873; Percy Kilbride ("Pa Kettle") in 1888; vaudeville great Blossom Sealey in 1891; actress Barbara Stanwyck in 1907; actress/dancer Ginger Rogers in 1911; actor Barnard Hughes in 1915; former Miss America Bess Myerson in 1924 (age 80); singer/actor Ruben Blades and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, both in 1948 (age 56); and actors Phoebe Cates in 1965 (age 39) and Corey Feldman in 1971 (age 33).
On this date in history: In 1769, the first Catholic mission in California was dedicated at the site of present-day San Diego. In 1790, Congress designated the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of the United States government. In 1945, the first test of the atom bomb was conducted at a super-secret base near Alamogordo, N.M.
In 1959, Billie Holiday, considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time despite a tragic life, died of cardiac failure at age 44.
In 1969, Apollo 11, the first moon-landing mission, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan was unanimously nominated as the Republican candidate for president at the GOP National Convention in Detroit. He chose George Bush as his running mate after former President Ford declined to join the ticket.
In 1990, Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev dropped his objections to a unified Germany in NATO.
In 1991, at its London summit, the Group of Seven agreed to support the Soviet Union's economic reforms and its admission to the International Monetary Fund.
In 1992, Texas billionaire Ross Perot withdrew from the presidential race. He would later re-enter.
Also in 1992, a train carrying 2,200 tons of New York garbage that spent three weeks wending its way through the Midwest headed home for burial in a Staten Island landfill.
In 1994, fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet began striking Jupiter.
In 1995, Rep. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., met in Baghdad with Saddam Hussein to discuss two American businessmen jailed in Iraq after accidentally crossing the border from Kuwait. Following the meeting, Hussein announced he had pardoned the men and ordered their release.
In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average rose above 8000 for a record close at 8033.88.
In 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife and her sister were killed when their single-engine plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard. The son of former President Kennedy was 39.
In 2002, the body of a kidnapped 5-year-old girl, Samantha Runnion, was found near Lake Elsinor, Calif., one day affer she was seized in the courtyard of an apartment complex at Stanton where she lived. A suspect was arrested.
In 2003, the capital murder trial of suspected Washington area sniper John Allen Muhammad was moved to Virginia Beach.
Also in 2003, authorities said there would be no charges filed against an 86-year-old California man who killed nine people when he drove through a crowded Santa Monica farmer's market. He said he might have confused the brake and gas pedals and had tried to stop.
A thought for the day: There is this from Ogden Nash: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk."