Today is Saturday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2006 with 141 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Saturn, Mercury, Venus and Uranus. The evening stars are Neptune, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include English poet laureate Robert Southey in 1774; American painter Abbott Thayer, credited with noting camouflage in the animal world, in 1849; educator and poet Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote "America the Beautiful," in 1859; mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart in 1876; Christy Mathewson, baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, in 1878; moviemaker Cecil B. DeMille in 1881; Mexican comic actor Cantinflas, born Mario Moreno Reyes, in 1911; actress Jane Wyatt in 1911 (age 95); actor John Derek in 1926; country singer Buck Owens in 1929; country singer Porter Wagoner in 1927 (age 79); author William Goldman in 1931 (age 75); former national security adviser John Poindexter in 1936 (age 70); actor George Hamilton in 1939 (age 67); author Ann Martin ("The Babysitter's Club" series) in 1955 (age 51); and tennis star Pete Sampras in 1971 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1851, Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine. He set up business in Boston with $40 in capital.
In 1898, a peace protocol was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines and annexed Hawaii.
In 1984, the 23rd Olympic Games ended in Los Angeles with a record attendance of 5.5 million people despite a Soviet-led boycott.
In 1985, in aviation's worst single-plane disaster, 520 people died when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 slammed into a mountain in central Japan. Four passengers survived.
In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in his first television address since the Iran-Contra hearings, said he'd been "stubborn" in pursuing a policy "that went astray."
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed a free trade pact with Mexico and Canada, creating the world's largest free trade bloc.
In 1997, Hudson Foods, Inc., a meat processor in Rogers, Ark., announced it was recalling 20,000 pounds of beef due to possible contamination by the E.coli bacterium. The recall ultimately was expanded to 25 million pounds of beef.
In 1998, the two largest Swiss banks and representatives of Holocaust survivors and their heirs agreed on a settlement of claims against the banks.
In 2002, monsoons in Asia claimed more than 1,600 lives while floodwaters tore through central Europe and in southwestern Russia, killing 58.
In 2003, a U.N. report said Afghanistan has re-emerged as the world's leading source for opium and heroin.
In 2004, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey announced his resignation after revealing a homosexual affair.
Also in 2004, the California Supreme Court invalidated more than 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued earlier in San Francisco.
A thought for the day: The late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley said, "The police aren't here to create disorder. The police are here to preserve disorder."