Today is Thursday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2008 with 146 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 Carl Ritter, the German co-founder of modern geographical science, in 1779; the World War I Dutch spy and courtesan known as Mata Hari (Margaret Gertrude Zelle) in 1876; actress Billie Burke in 1885; British archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey in 1903; American statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph J. Bunche in 1904; film director Nicholas Ray in 1911; comedian/producer Stan Freberg in 1926 (age 82); actor Carl Switzer (Alfalfa in the "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" movie comedies) in 1927; singer B.J. Thomas and humorist Garrison Keillor ("Prairie Home Companion"), both in 1942 (age 66); and actors John Glover in 1944 (age 64), David Duchovny ("The X-Files") in 1960 (age 48) and Charlize Theron in 1975 (age 33).
On this date in history:
In 1782, the Order of the Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington to honor Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.
In 1942, U.S. Marines launched America's first offensive in World War II, landing on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.
In 1959, the satellite Explorer-6 transmitted man's first view of the Earth from space.
n 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first wife of a president since the days of Grover Cleveland to give birth while in the White House. The infant, a boy, died two days later.
In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent U.S. troops and air power to protect Saudi Arabian oil fields from possible Iraqi attack.
In 1998, bombs detonated within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.
In 2001, Uribe Velez was sworn in as president of Colombia in ceremonies interrupted by rebel shelling that killed 15 and wounded 60.
In 2004, Iraqi militants released a video reportedly showing the beheading of a U.S. citizen.
Also in 2004, two former top East German officials were convicted by a Berlin state court of failing to stop the killing of people trying to escape across the Berlin Wall.
In 2005, U.S. scientists announced they have successfully tested a vaccine to protect against bird flu.
Also in 2005, Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News "World News Tonight," who said in April he had lung cancer, died at his New York home at age 67.
In 2006, the usually secretive North Korea government announced 549 people had been killed by recent flooding and 295 remained missing.
In 2007, Amnesty International charged that China appeared to be cracking down on its human rights activists and journalists and using detention without trial as a pretext for getting ready for the 2008 Olympics.
A thought for the day: W.C. Fields said, "Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad."