Today is Tuesday, July 18, the 199th day of 2006 with 166 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1811; actor Chill Wills in 1903; playwright Clifford Odets in 1906; composer, arranger, pianist Lou Busch (a.k.a. Joe "Fingers" Carr) in 1910; actor Hume Cronyn in 1911; comedian Red Skelton in 1913; actress Harriet Hilliard Nelson in 1914; South African black leader Nelson Mandela in 1918 (age 88); astronaut-turned-Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, in 1921 (age 85); journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson in 1939; pop singer Dion DiMucci in 1939 (age 67); actor James Brolin in 1941 (age 65); singer Martha Reeves in 1941 (age 65); publisher Steve Forbes in 1947 (age 59); country singer Ricky Skaggs in 1954 (age 52), and actress Elizabeth McGovern in 1961 (age 45).
On this date in history:
In 64, fire destroyed nearly two-thirds of Rome.
In 1939, MGM had a sneak preview of "The Wizard of Oz" after which producers debated about removing one of the songs because it seemed to slow things down. They finally decided to leave it in. The song: "Over the Rainbow."
In 1977, Vietnam was admitted to the United Nations.
In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people.
In 1991, the first Ibero-American Summit Conference opened in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Also in 1991, the Yugoslav federal presidency began withdrawing troops from Slovenia.
In 1992, youths rampaged for a second night in southwest England following the deaths of two young men on a stolen police motorcycle.
In 1994, a car bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killed some 100 people in or near a building that housed Jewish organizations.
In 2003, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was charged with one count of sexual assault stemming from an incident involving a 19-year-old female employee of an Edwards, Colo., hotel.
Also in 2003, British scientist David Kelly, a government adviser and former weapons inspector in Iraq, was found dead, an apparent suicide.
In 2004, the Philippines pulled its troops from Iraq, meeting a demand by kidnappers holding a Filipino hostage.
In 2005, Eric Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms for a deadly 1998 bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala. He also faced later sentencing in Atlanta for bombings at the 1996 Olympics and two other sites.
A thought for the day: Federico Fellini said, "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."