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The almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 26, 2008 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 26, the 239th day of 2008 with 127 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include British statesman Robert Walpole in 1676; French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, the founder of modern chemistry, in 1743; Lee De Forest, known as the father of radio, in 1873; "Charlie Chan" detective series author Earl Derr Biggers in 1884; poet/novelist Christopher Isherwood in 1904; bacteriologist Albert Sabin, discoverer of an oral vaccine for polio, in 1906; Geraldine Ferraro, Democratic vice presidential candidate and first woman to seek so high a position on a major U.S. political party ticket, in 1935 (age 73); jazz musician Branford Marsalis in 1960 (age 48); and actor Macaulay Culkin ("Home Alone") in 1980 (age 28).


On this date in history:

In 1964, Democrats nominated U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey to face the Republicans in November.

In 1974, Charles Lindbergh died at the age of 72.

In 1978, Cardinal Albino Luciani was elected the 263rd pope and chose the name John Paul I. He died 33 days later.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew's deadly winds roared ashore in Louisiana bayou country.

Also in 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced a ban on Iraqi military flights over southern Iraq to protect the Shiite Muslims. He said any planes that violate the order would be shot down by U.S.-led coalition forces.

In 1996, a court in South Korea sentenced former president Chun Doo-hwan to death for the coup that put him in power. His successor, Roh Tae-woo, was sentenced to prison for taking bribes.

In 1998, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno asked for a 90-day preliminary investigation into alleged illegal campaign fundraising phone calls Vice President Al Gore made from the White House.

In 2002, Iraq will have nuclear weapons "fairly soon," U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech favoring U.S. military action.

In 2003, NASA was severely criticized on several counts by a federal board investigating the Feb. 1 Columbia shuttle disaster.

Also in 2003, the U.N. Security Council denounced as a "grave violation of human rights" the killings of Kuwaiti prisoners, believed to be in the hundreds, by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime.

In 2004, a leader in the U.S. Army panel investigating prisoner abuse at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison said the team had discovered "serious misconduct and a loss of moral values."

Also in 2004, a mortar attack on a mosque in Koufa in central Iraq killed 40 people and injured another 70.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck Florida's Atlantic coast, causing flooding that claimed 11 lives. The massive storm then moved into the Gulf of Mexico where it picked up strength and sent thousands of Gulf Coast residents fleeing its expected onslaught.

Also in 2005, a Gallup Poll showed U.S. President George W. Bush's approval rating at 40 percent -- the lowest Gallup rating of his presidency.

In 2006, Iran rebuffed the U.N. edict to stop its nuclear project or face sanctions and went ahead with expansion steps instead.

In 2007, the latest unofficial estimate of people killed in flooding in North Korea ballooned to 600, media sources said.

Also in 2007, wildfires, all believed to be the act of arsonists, raged in Greece, fanned by gale force winds, killing at least 59 people and destroying thousands of acres of crops, pasture land and forest.


A thought for the day: Alan Patrick Herbert wrote, "The critical period in matrimony is breakfast-time."

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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