The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 27, 2004 at 3:30 AM

Today is Friday, Aug. 27, the 240th day of 2004 with 126 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Mars and Pluto.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include German philosopher Georg Hegel in 1770; novelist Theodore Dreiser in 1871; English automaker Charles Rolls in 1877; novelist C.S. Forester in 1899; Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the United States, in 1908; Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa in 1910; singer/actress Martha Raye in 1916; singer/actor Tommy Sands in 1937 (age 67); actress Tuesday Weld in 1943 (age 61); actor Paul Rubens (Pee-Wee Herman) in 1952 (age 52); and actress Sarah Chalke in 1976 (age 28).

On this date in history:

In 1859, the first successful oil well in the United States was drilled near Titusville, Pa.

In 1883, the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurred on Krakatau, a small, uninhabited island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war as a means to settle international disputes, was signed by 15 nations in Paris. World War II began scarcely 11 years later.

In 1939, Adolf Hitler served notice on England and France that Germany wanted Danzig and the Polish Corridor.

In 1977, IRA terrorists killed Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the queen, by blowing up his boat. It was the IRA's first attack on the royal family.

In 1985, Defense Secretary Weinberger canceled the Army's $1.8 billion "Sergeant York" weapon system, declaring it ineffective.

In 1991, the Soviet republic of Moldavia declared its independence. And the European Community recognized Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as independent nations.

In 1992, Serbian leaders at the Yugoslav peace conference pledged to close the prisoner-of-war camps, end "ethnic cleansing," and work toward peace.

Also in 1992, Canada's Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a law that would have prevented a man from claiming the Nazi Holocaust was a hoax.

In 1996, Israel approved new development in the West Bank.

In 1999, two Russian cosmonauts and a French astronaut left Mir to return to Earth, leaving the orbiting Russian space station unmanned for the first time in 13 years.

In 2003, the United States and North Korea met privately in Beijing during the six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program. Diplomats said the meeting did not herald any early breakthrough in the talks, aimed at ending North Korea's development of nuclear weapons.

A thought for the day: in her novel "Molly Bawn," Margaret Wolfe Hungerford wrote, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

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