Today is Friday, July 28, the 209th day of 2006 with 156 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of the Peter Rabbit stories for children, in 1866; surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp in 1887; comedian Joe E. Brown in 1892; singer/actor/band leader Rudy Vallee in 1901; conductor Carmen Dragon in 1914; former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1929; Peter Duchin, pianist, bandleader, in 1937 (age 69); former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori in 1938 (age 68); former U.S. Senator and basketball star Bill Bradley in 1943 (age 63); "Garfield" creator Jim Davis in 1945 (age 61); actresses Linda Kelsey in 1946 (age 60) and Sally Struthers in 1948 (age 58); former baseball pitcher Vida Blue in 1949 (age 57); and actress Lori Loughlin in 1964 (age 42).
On this date in history:
In 1868, the ratified 14th Amendment was adopted into the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing citizenship and all its privileges to African-Americans.
In 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia, leading to World War I.
In 1945, the U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations.
Also in 1945, an Army B-25 bomber lost in the fog crashed into the side of the Empire State Building in New York City, killing 13 people.
In 1976, an earthquake struck China's Tangshan Province, killing an estimated 1 million people.
In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan opened the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. A Soviet-led bloc of 15 nations, as well as Albania, Bolivia, Iran and Libya, boycotted the games.
In 1990, the collision of a freighter and two barges spilled 500,000 gallons of oil in the Houston Ship Channel near Galveston, Texas.
In 1992, Warner Bros. removed the controversial song "Cop Killer" from Ice-T's "Body Count" album by request of the rapper.
In 1995, the U.S. Senate, caught up in the reform fervor in Washington, voted unanimously to bar senators and their staff members from accepting vacation trips and other expensive gifts from anyone other than close friends and family.
In 1998, in return for immunity, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky agreed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a possible relationship between her and U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Also in 1998, Bell Atlantic and GTE announced plans to merge.
In 2000, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sworn in for a third term amid violent protests by his opponents, who said the election was fraudulent.
In 2003, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, the two largest U.S. banks, agreed to pay nearly $300 million in fines and penalties to settle charges they had aided Enron in deceiving investors.
In 2004, Democrats nominated Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to oppose Republic incumbent George W. Bush in the November presidential election.
Also in 2004, a massive suicide car bomb tore through a crowd of Iraqis trying to enlist in the Baqouba police force, killing a reported 70 people and injuring more than 50 others.
In 2005, the Irish Republic Army said it was ending violence as a political tactic against Great Britain in Northern Ireland after a 36-year campaign. The IRA promised to disarm and cease terrorist activity.
A thought for the day: Nikolai Nekrasov wrote, "You do not have to be a poet, but you are obliged to be a citizen."