Today is Thursday, Aug. 12, the 225th day of 2004 with 141 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include English poet laureate Robert Southey in 1774; American painter Abbott Thayer, credited with noting camouflage in the animal world, in 1849; educator and poet Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote "America the Beautiful," in 1859; mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart in 1876; Christy Mathewson, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, in 1878; moviemaker Cecil B. DeMille in 1881; Mexican comic actor Cantinflas, born Mario Moreno Reyes, in 1911; actress Jane Wyatt in 1913 (age 91); actor John Derek in 1926; country singers Buck Owens in 1929 (age 75) and Porter Wagoner in 1930 (age 74); author William Goldman in 1931 (age 73); former national security adviser John Poindexter in 1936 (age 68); actor George Hamilton in 1939 (age 65); author Ann Martin ("The Babysitter's Club" series) in 1955 (age 49); and tennis player Pete Sampras in 1971 (age 33).
On this date in history: In 1851, Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine. He set up business in Boston with $40 in capital.
In 1898, a peace protocol was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, and annexed Hawaii.
In 1984, the 23rd Olympic Games ended in Los Angeles with a record attendance of 5.5 million people despite a Soviet-led boycott.
In 1985, in aviation's worst single-plane disaster, 520 people died when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 slammed into a mountain in central Japan. Four passengers survived.
In 1987, President Reagan, in his first television address since the Iran-Contra hearings, said he'd been "stubborn" in pursuing a policy "that went astray."
In 1992, President Bush signed a free trade pact with Mexico and Canada, creating the world's largest free trade bloc.
In 1993, President Clinton welcomed Pope John Paul II to Denver.In 1994, a three-day concert began in Saugerties, N.Y., to mark the 25th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, N.Y., in 1969.
In 1996, delegates to the Republican National Convention passed a platform calling for a constitutional amendment against abortions.I
In 1997, Hudson Foods, Inc., a meat processor in Rogers, Ark., announced it was recalling 20,000 lbs. of beef due to possible contamination by the E.coli bacterium. The recall ultimately was expanded to 25 million lbs. of beef.
In 1998, the two largest Swiss banks and representatives of Holocaust survivors and their heirs agreed on a settlement of claims against the banks.
In 2002, Floodwaters tore through central Europe and in southwestern Russia, where the death toll was put at 58, while monsoons in Asia claimed more than 1,600 lives.
In 2003, a United Nations report said Afghanistan has re-emerged as the world's leading source for opium and heroin.
A thought for the day: The late Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley said, "The police aren't here to create disorder. The police are here to preserve disorder."