Today is Wednesday, July 2, the 184th day of 2008 with 182 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus. The evening stars are Venus, Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include German novelist Herman Hesse in 1877; King Olav V of Norway in 1903; former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1908; singer/actor Ken Curtis ("Gunsmoke's" Festus) in 1916; civil rights activist Medgar Evers in 1925; Imelda Marcos, wife of former Philippine President Fernando Marcos, in 1929 (age 79); Wendy's fast-food restaurant chain founder Dave Thomas in 1932; actress Polly Holliday and former race car driver Richard Petty, both in 1937 (age 71); actor/director Ron Silver in 1946 (age 62); actor Jimmy McNichol in 1961 (age 47); former baseball star Jose Canseco, first to hit 40 or more home runs and steal 40 or more bases in the same major league season, in 1964 (age 44).
On this date in history:
In 1788, it was announced in the U.S. Congress that the new Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states, the ninth being New Hampshire.
In 1839, African slaves being shipped to Cuba revolted and seized the ship Amistad, leading to an eventual end of the African slave market.
In 1900, the world's first rigid airship was demonstrated by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in Germany.
In 1917, as many as 75 blacks were killed in rioting in St. Louis.
In 1934, 6-year-old Shirley Temple signed a contract with Fox Film Corp. and went on to become one of the biggest movie stars of the day.
In 1937, U.S. aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Frederick Noonan were reported lost over the Pacific Ocean. They were never found.
In 1964, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In 1974, U.S President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev agreed during a meeting in Yalta on limitations on underground nuclear testing.
In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed numerical hiring goals for minorities, rejecting the Reagan administration view that affirmative action be limited to proven victims of race discrimination.
In 1990, a stampede in a pedestrian tunnel at the Muslim holy city of Mecca during the annual Hajj killed 1,426 pilgrims.
In 1993, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahmen, whose followers were linked to two bombing plots, was taken into U.S. federal custody.
Also in 1993, South African President F.W de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela announced that South Africa's first election open to all races would be April 27, 1994.
In 1994, the Colombian soccer player who inadvertently scored a goal for the United States, contributing to his team's loss in World Cup competition, was shot to death in Medellin, Colombia.
In 2000, Vicente Fox was elected president of Mexico.
In 2002, after five unsuccessful attempts, American Steve Fossett completed a round-the-world solo flight in a balloon, reaching Queensland in the Australian outback to finish a 13-day, 19,428-mile trip that began in Western Australia.
In 2004, a 21-year-old man opened fire on co-workers at a Kansas City, Kan., plant, fatally wounding five people before turning the gun on himself. Several others were wounded.
Also in 2004, medical reports said post-traumatic stress disorder was appearing in 1-in-6 U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq.
In 2005, Egypt's new ambassador to Iraq was abducted in Baghdad, reportedly by the al-Qaida. He was later slain.
In 2006, Israeli bombs destroyed the Gaza City offices of the Palestinian Authority prime minister, kicking off a month of violent attacks against Palestinian militants largely in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.
In 2007, U.S. President George Bush commuted the 30-month prison sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into who leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent.
Also in 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., claimed the fund-raising lead in the Democratic presidential primary battle with $32.5 million. His top opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., reported $27 million. In the GOP race, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had to cut back his campaign because of a shortage of funds.
A thought for the day: the adage "Appearances are often deceiving" comes from Aesop's "Fables," and something similar appears in the New Testament.