Today is Wednesday, July 12, the 193rd day of 2006 with 172 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Roman leader Julius Caesar in 100 B.C.; American writer Henry David Thoreau in 1817; photography pioneer George Eastman in 1854; Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani in 1884; composer Oscar Hammerstein II and author-architect R. Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome, both in 1895; comedian Milton Berle in 1908; bandleader Will Bradley in 1912; painter Andrew Wyeth in 1917 (age 89); former General Motors Chairman Roger B. Smith in 1925 (age 81); pianist Van Cliburn in 1934 (age 72); comedian/actor Bill Cosby in 1937 (age 69); exercise and diet guru Richard Simmons in 1948 (age 58); actresses Denise Nicholas in 1945 (age 61), Cheryl Ladd in 1951 (age 55), and Mel Harris in 1957 (age 49); talk-show host Rolanda Watts in 1959 (age 47); and Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi in 1971 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1862, the U.S. Congress authorized a new award, the U.S. Medal of Honor, often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In 1933, a new U.S. industrial code was established to fix a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour.
In 1962, the Rolling Stones gave their first public performance, at the Marquee Club in London.
In 1984, Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale named Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, D-N.Y., as his running mate. She was the first woman to share a major U.S. political party's presidential ticket. They lost in November, however, to incumbent Ronald Reagan.
In 1990, Boris Yeltsin quit the Soviet Communist Party, saying he wanted to concentrate on his duties as president of the Russian republic.
In 1991, members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee accused the former ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, of misleading them about prewar meetings with Saddam Hussein.
In 1994, PLO chief Yasser Arafat and his wife took up permanent residence in the Gaza Strip.
In 1995, at least 800 people died in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast as the result of a heat wave that lasted five days.
In 1996, as part of her divorce settlement from British Prince Charles, Princess Diana kept the princess title and received about $25 million in a lump sum followed by an income of $600,000 a year.
In 2000, the United States and Vietnam reached a trade agreement that would allow unfettered commerce between the two nations for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War.
In 2003, tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes along the Huai River in eastern China as floodwaters rose.
In 2004, Saudi Arabia said it had rounded up hundreds of terror suspects but denied the existence of al-Qaida in that country.
In 2005, AIDS activists say South Africa may have the world's largest number of HIV cases, with possibly more than 6 million of the nation's 40 million people infected.
A thought for the day: Henry David Thoreau said, "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."