Today is Sunday, July 6, the 188th day of 2008 with 178 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 John Paul Jones, founder of the U.S. Navy, in 1747; singer Laverne Andrews, of the Andrews Sisters, in 1915; former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan in 1921 (age 87); TV entertainer, producer Merv Griffin and rock 'n' roll pioneer Bill Haley ("Rock Around The Clock"), both in 1925; actress Janet Leigh in 1927; singer/actress Della Reese in 1931 (age 77); actors Ned Beatty in 1937 (age 71), Burt Ward in 1945 (age 63) and Sylvester Stallone in 1946 (age 62); U.S. President George W. Bush, also in 1946 (age 62); and actresses Shelley Hack in 1947 (age 61) and Allyce Beasley in 1954 (age 54).
On this date in history:
In 1699, pirate Capt. William Kidd was seized in Boston and deported to England. He later was hanged.
In 1854, the Republican Party was formally established at a meeting in New York City.
In 1885, French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur inoculated the first human being, a boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog. The youngster didn't develop rabies.
In 1919, a British dirigible landed at New York's Roosevelt Field to complete the first airship crossing of the Atlantic.
In 1923, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed.
In 1933, the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The American League beat the National League, 4-2.
In 1942, diarist Anne Frank and her family took refuge in a secret section of an Amsterdam warehouse where they hid from the Nazis for two years. Finally discovered, they were shipped to concentration camps where Anne died.
In 1944, fire in the big top of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Conn., killed 167 people, two-thirds of them children, and injured 682 others.
In 1957, while attending a church picnic near Liverpool, 15-year-old Paul McCartney met 16-year-old John Lennon. Lennon's band was playing at the picnic and by the end of the day McCartney had joined the group.
In 1958, Alaska became the 49th U.S. state.
In 1967, civil war broke out in Nigeria.
In 1971, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, one of the 20th century's most influential American musicians, died at age 69.
In 1976, women were first admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy.
In 1984, U.S. President Reagan, in a TV interview, said it was a "probability" that many young people now paying into Social Security "will never be able to receive as much as they're paying."
In 1992, a bomb exploded near the car carrying French President Mitterrand's wife during a visit to Kurdish settlements in northern Iraq. She was unhurt but at least two other people were killed.
In 1993, the flooded Mississippi River was closed to barge traffic from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis.
In 1994, a firestorm killed 14 forest fire fighters near Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Also in 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Latvia, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to the Baltic region.
In 1997, the Mars Pathfinder deployed the remote-controlled Sojourner to explore the surface of Mars.
Also in 1997, for the first time since it was founded in 1929, Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party failed to win a majority in voting for the lower house of Congress.
In 1999, U.S. first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced she was forming an committee to look into running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y. No first lady had before sought public office.
Also in 1999, Ehud Barak was sworn in as prime minister of Israel.
In 2003, Liberian President Charles Taylor, who promised to resign in the face of civil war, said he had accepted an invitation to go into exile in Nigeria.
In 2004, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, chose Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., as his running mate.
In 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was sent to jail for refusing to name her source in connection with the leaking of a CIA agent's identity to the media.
Also in 2005, London was chosen for the site of the 2012 Olympic Games in a close decision over Paris.
In 2006, U.S. President George Bush turned 60 with Washington observers noting he was likely the healthiest president ever at that age.
Also in 2006, a record $145 billion class action award against five tobacco companies was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court.
And, Felipe Calderon of Mexico's ruling National Action Party won a tight race for president over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
In 2007, a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati dismissed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.
A thought for the day: Ambrose Bierce defined a cynic as "A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be."