Today is Saturday, July 24, the 206th day of 2004 with 160 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 Leo. They include South American revolutionary and statesman Simon Bolivar in 1783; French novelist Alexandre Dumas the Elder, author of "The Three Musketeers," in 1802; pianist/composer Scott Joplin in 1868; air pioneer Amelia Earhart in 1898; feminist and former Rep. Bella Abzug, D-N.Y., in 1920; comedian Ruth Buzzi in 1936 (age 68); actors Chris Sarandon in 1942 (age 62), Robert Hays in 1947 (age 57) and Lynda Carter in 1951 (age 53); pro basketball star Karl Malone in 1963 (age 41); actress/singer Jennifer Lopez in 1970 (age 34); and actress Anna Paquin in 1982 (age 22).
On this date in history:
In 1679, New Hampshire became a royal colony of the British crown.
In 1847, After 17 months and many miles of travel, Brigham Young led 148 Mormon pioneers into Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
In 1969, Apollo-11 returned to Earth after the historic moon-landing mission.
In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Nixon should surrender White House tapes for the criminal trials of his former associates.
In 1987, the U.S.-escorted and re-flagged Kuwaiti oil tanker Bridgeton was damaged by an Iranian mine in the first such incident in the Persian Gulf.
In 1989, the Exxon Corp. estimated that its cleanup of the Alaskan oil spill would cost $1.28 billion dollars.
In 1995, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed himself and five others in a Tel Aviv suburb in Israel.
In 1997, the same Scottish scientists who produced Dolly the cloned sheep announced they had cloned a sheep with human genes.
In 1998, a gunman opened fire at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., killing two police officers and wounding a tourist. Police shot the gunman, who survived and was later charged with murder.
In 2002, the House expelled Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, by a vote of 420-1. Traficant, who had been convicted of racketeering, bribery and corruption, was only the second House member expelled since the Civil War.
In 2003, House and Senate intelligence committees said the FBI and CIA had disregarded warnings before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack that al-Qaida planned to strike directly at the United States.
Also in 2003, California Gov. Gray Davis, who began his second term only eight months earlier, faced possible removal from office after 1.3 million signatures were collected to force a statewide recall vote.
A thought for the day: Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, "There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life."