Today is Tuesday, July 31, the 212th day of 2007 with 153 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mars, Uranus, Mercury and Neptune. The evening stars are Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include author and jurist James Kent in 1763; Confederate Army guerrilla leader William Quantrill, in 1837; pollster Elmo Burns Roper Jr., in 1900; economist Milton Friedman and former TV talk-show host and columnist Irv Kupcinet, both in 1912; actor Don Murray in 1929 (age 78); actress France Nuyen in 1939 (age 68) and Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 (age 63); singer Gary Lewis in 1945 (age 62); Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong in 1951 (age 56); and actors Wesley Snipes in 1962 (age 45) and Dean Cain ("Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman") in 1966 (age 41).
On this date in history:
In 1498, on his third voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad.
In 1556 Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order of Roman Catholic missionaries and educators, died in Rome.
In 1792, director David Rittenhouse laid the cornerstone in Philadelphia for the U.S. Mint, the first building of the federal government.
In 1964, Ranger 7, an unmanned U.S. lunar probe, took the first close-up images of the moon.
In 1974, Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. Ellsberg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.
In 1991, the U.S. Senate overturned a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat.
In 1992, all aboard were killed when a Thai Airways jetliner carrying more than 100 people, including 11 Americans, crashed in bad weather in Nepal.
In 1995, the Walt Disney Co. announced it was buying Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.
In 2002, the Commerce Department estimated economic growth in the second quarter at a meager 1.1 percent, indicating the recession of 2001 was worse than originally estimated.
Also in 2002, Alimzan Tokhtakhounov, a reputed Russian crime figure, was arrested at his resort in Italy on charges he tried to fix two ice skating events at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
In 2003, North Korea reversed its long-standing opposition to multilateral talks on its nuclear weapons program.
In 2004, Pakistani investigators blamed al-Qaida for an assassination attempt on Prime Minister-designate Shaukat Aziz. Eight people died in the suicide bombing attack.
In 2005, wary health officials, planning for a possible flu pandemic, told reporters that the world is unprepared for such an outbreak, lacking public awareness and medicine.
In 2006, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, two weeks before his 80th birthday, formally transferred power temporarily to his brother Raul in preparation for intestinal surgery.
A thought for the day: Alexander Dumas the Younger said, "Business? It's quite simple. It's other people's money."