Today is Wednesday, July 9, the 191st day of 2008 with 175 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 Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, in 1819; Nicola Tesla, inventor of the electromagnetic motor, in 1856; historian Samuel Eliot Morison in 1887; English romance novelist Barbara Cartland in 1901; actor/singer Ed Ames in 1927 (age 81); English artist David Hockney in 1937 (age 71); actors Brian Dennehy in 1938 (age 70) and Richard Roundtree in 1942 (age 66); football star/actor O.J. Simpson in 1947 (age 61); entertainer John Tesh in 1952 (age 56); actors Tom Hanks in 1956 (age 52), Kelly McGillis in 1957 (age 51), Jimmy Smits in 1955 (age 53) and Fred Savage in 1976 (age 32); and singer/actress Courtney Love in 1964 (age 44).
On this date in history:
In 1850, U.S. President Zachary Taylor died suddenly of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis tournament was staged at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
In 1893, Chicago surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.
In 1943, U.S., Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.
In 1947, Florence Blanchard, a nurse, was appointed lieutenant colonel in the Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent U.S. military rank.
In 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No.1 on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock 'n' roll era.
In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if U.S. forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.
In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 jetliner crashed in Kenner, La., shortly after takeoff from New Orleans, killing 154 people.
In 1992, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton picked U.S. Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., as his running mate.
In 1997, NBC was the lone holdout when the major networks agreed to implement a revised and expanded television ratings system.
In 2002 sports, the All-Star baseball game ended in an 11-inning, 7-7 tie when Commissioner Bud Selig halted proceedings saying the teams had run out of pitchers.
In 2003, the director of South Korea's intelligence service said North Korea has carried out some 70 high-explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons development.
In 2004, a report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence accused the CIA and other intelligence agencies of producing false and misleading pre-war information about Iraq's weapons program.
Also, in 2004, the International Court of Justice told Israel to tear down or re-route the 400-mile wall being built on the Palestinian territory border to thwart suicide attacks.
In 2005, London police continued the grim task of recovering bodies from the city's underground subway system where terrorists set off three well-coordinated bombing attacks killing a reported 57 people and wounding more than 700 others.
In 2006, a Sibir Airlines Airbus from Moscow taking children to a vacation area in Siberia crashed, killing more than 100 people, including many of the young travelers.
Also in 2006, Shiite gunmen on a rampage in a predominantly Sunni district of Baghdad killed at least 40 people, including unarmed women and children.
And, four U.S. soldiers were charged with raping a young Iraqi woman and killing her along with her family, the U.S. military said.
In 2007, U.S. President George Bush defied a congressional subpoena, citing executive privilege, ordering him to turn over documents relating to the firing of nine U.S. prosecutors in 2006.
Also in 2007, four Islamic men were convicted of trying to bomb the London transit system in July 2005. All later were sentenced to life in prison. Their failed plot followed the July 7, 2005, London transit attack that killed 56 people.
A thought for the day: David McCord said, "Life is the garment we continually alter, but which never seems to fit."