The Almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 7, 2006 at 3:30 AM

Today is Monday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2006 with 146 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Carl Ritter, the German co-founder of modern geographical science, in 1779; the World War I Dutch spy and courtesan known as Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle) in 1876; actress Billie Burke in 1885; British archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey in 1903; American statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph J. Bunche in 1904; film director Nicholas Ray in 1911; comedian/producer Stan Freberg in 1926 (age 80); actor Carl Switzer (Alfalfa in the "Our Gang" series) in 1927; singer B.J. Thomas and humorist Garrison Keillor ("Prairie Home Companion"), both in 1942 (age 64); and actors John Glover in 1944 (age 62), David Duchovny in 1960 (age 46) and Charlize Theron in 1975 (age 31).

On this date in history:

In 1782, the Order of the Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington to honor Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

In 1942, U.S. Marines launched America's first offensive in World War II, landing on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.

In 1959, the satellite Explorer-6 transmitted man's first view of the Earth from space.

In 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first wife of a president since the days of Grover Cleveland to give birth while in the White House. The infant, a boy, died two days later.

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent U.S. troops and air power to protect Saudi Arabian oil fields from possible Iraqi attack.

In 1998, bombs detonated within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.

In 2001, Uribe Velez was sworn in as president of Colombia in ceremonies interrupted by rebel shelling that killed 15 and wounded 60.

In 2003, a car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, killing 19 and injuring at least 65 others.

In 2004, Iraqi militants released a video reportedly showing the beheading of a U.S. citizen.

Also in 2004, two former top East German officials were convicted by a Berlin state court of failing to stop the killing of people trying to escape across the Berlin wall. They drew probation.

In 2005, U.S. scientists announced they successfully tested a vaccine to protect against bird flu.

Also in 2005, Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News "World News Tonight," who said in April he had lung cancer, died at his New York home at age 67.

A thought for the day: Leo C. Rosten said of W.C. Fields, "Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad."

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