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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 5, 2008 at 3:30 AM
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 5, the 218th day of 2008 with 148 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include French novelist Guy de Maupassant in 1850; poet and critic Conrad Aiken in 1889; film director John Huston in 1906; actor Robert Taylor in 1911; astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, in 1930 (age 78); actors John Saxon in 1935 (age 73); Loni Anderson in 1946 (age 62) and Jonathan Silverman in 1966 (age 42).


On this date in history:

In 1833, Chicago was incorporated as a village with a population of about 200.

In 1858, after several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.

In 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first federal income tax. A wartime measure, it was rescinded in 1872.

In 1957, Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began airing nationally.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 35.

In 1963, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty outlawing nuclear tests in the Earth's atmosphere, in space or under the sea.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted ordering the Watergate investigation halted six days after the break-in. Nixon said he expected to be impeached.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.

In 1990, the United States sent a Marine company into Monrovia, Liberia's capital, to evacuate U.S. citizens because of a rebel threat to arrest Americans to provoke foreign intervention in the civil war.

In 1991, the Democrats ordered inquiries into allegations that Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign team delayed release of the U.S. hostages in Iran until after the election.

Also in 1991, Iraq admitted it misled U.N. inspectors about secret biological weapons and also admitted extracting plutonium from fuel at a nuclear plant.

In 1994, opponents of Fidel Castro clashed with police in Havana as thousands of Cubans took to the high seas trying to reach the United States.

Also in 1994, U.S. fighter jets acting under NATO orders attacked Bosnian Serb positions after the Serbs seized weapons from a U.N depot. The weapons were returned.

In 1997, North Korea opened talks with the United States, China and South Korea aimed at negotiating a permanent treaty to replace the armistice agreed to after the Korean War.

In 1998, Iraq announced it would no longer cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and demanded the lifting of the U.N. sanctions imposed in 1991.

In 2003, U.S. Episcopal officials approved election of their first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a move that threatened to create a schism within the church in the United States.

Also in 2003, a series of explosions rocked an international hotel in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing 14 people and injuring 150.

In 2004, twin Filipino boys joined at the top of their heads were listed in critical but stable condition after U.S. doctors surgically separated them.

In 2005, North Korea's refusal to give up its nuclear programs bogged down multinational disarmament talks, now in their 11th day in Beijing.

In 2006, the United States and France agreed on a cease-fire proposal for Lebanon, ending a week of intense negotiations in the Israel-Hezbollah fight. Hezbollah initially opposed the proposal and Israeli ministers said they would study it.

Also in 2006, the Los Angeles Times said newly declassified Army files confirm U.S. atrocities in Vietnam were more extensive than reported with at least 320 alleged incidents.

In 2007, U.S. President George Bush signed into law a bill to allow government eavesdropping of telephone conversations and e-mails of American citizens and people overseas without a warrant if there's "reasonable belief" that one party is not in the United States.

Also in 2007, at least 240 people were reported dead and millions more suffering from food and clean water shortages in monsoon flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Officials estimated 14 million people in India and 7 million in Bangladesh were in need of help.


A thought for the day: Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin reportedly said, "You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves."

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