Today is Friday, Aug. 13, the 226th day of 2004 with 140 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 social reformer Lucy Stone in 1818; sharpshooter Annie Oakley in 1860; Scottish inventor John Baird, a pioneer in television technology, in 1888; actor Bert Lahr in 1895; film director Alfred Hitchcock in 1899; actor Regis Toomey in 1902, bandleader Skinnay Ennis in 1909; golfer Ben Hogan in 1912; actor Neville Brand in 1920, Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1927 (age 77); actor Pat Harrington Jr. in 1929 (age 75); singer Don Ho in 1930 (age 74); former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders in 1933 (age 71); opera singer Kathleen Battle in 1948 (age 56); pop singer Dan Fogelberg in 1951 (age 53); and actor/announcer Danny Bonaduce ("The Partridge Family") in 1959 (age 45).
On this date in history:
In 1889, William Gray patented the coin-operated telephone.
In 1930, Capt. Frank Hawkes set an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes.
In 1961, East Germany closed the Brandenburg Gate and prepared to start building the Berlin Wall.
In 1980, President Carter was nominated for a second term by the Democratic National Convention in New York and picked Vice President Mondale as his running mate. They lost in November to Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
In 1990, singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield was left paralyzed when he was hit by a wind-blown lighting rig on an outdoor stage in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In 1991, former presidential adviser Clark M. Clifford resigned as the head of First American Bankshares, under pressure from the investigation of BCCI, its parent.
In 1992, a gunman dressed in military fatigues went on a shooting spree in a plant nursery in Watsonville, Calif., killing three and wounding four others before killing himself.
In 1993, Israel agreed for the first time to negotiate with a Palestinian delegation whose members belonged officially to the PLO.
In 1994, North Korea agreed to allow U.N. monitors to inspect a secret nuclear laboratory.
In 2002, President Bush told an economic forum in Waco, Texas, that he was concerned but optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.
In 2003, religious conservatives declared an all-out legal war to enact a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages with the reintroduction of the failed "Federal Marriage Amendment," this time with 75 House sponsors.
Also in 2003, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the removal of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from all positions of influence is the key to Middle East peace.
A thought for the day: Henry James reportedly said, "Summer afternoon -- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."