Today is Monday, July 27, the 208th day of 2009 with 157 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, Venus and Mars. The evening stars are Mercury and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include French novelist Alexander Dumas the Younger, author of "Camille," in 1824; baseball player and manager Leo Durocher in 1905; actor Keenan Wynn in 1916; television producer Norman Lear in 1922 (age 87); actors Jerry Van Dyke in 1931 (age 78) and Don Galloway in 1937; singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry in 1944 (age 65); figure skater Peggy Fleming and actress/director Betty Thomas, both in 1948 (age 61); and singer Maureen McGovern in 1949 (age 60).
On this date in history:
In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, architect of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, was overthrown and arrested by the National Convention. Robespierre who encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the revolution, was himself guillotined the following day.
In 1909, Orville Wright set a record by staying aloft in a plane for 1 hour, 12 minutes, 40 seconds.
In 1921, at the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin -- a hormone they believed could prevent diabetes -- for the first time.
In 1953, after two years and 17 days of truce negotiations, an end was declared to the war in Korea.
In 1980, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, deposed shah of Iran, died in an Egyptian military hospital of cancer at age 60.
In 1986, Greg LeMond, 25, of Sacramento, Calif., became the first American to win cycling's most famous contest, the Tour de France.
In 1989, a Korean Air DC-10 crashed in heavy fog while attempting to land at Tripoli airport in Libya, killing 82 people, four of them on the ground.
In 1993, IBM announced the elimination of 35,000 jobs as part of a restructuring program.
In 1995, the leaders of the three largest industrial labor unions in the United States -- the United Automobile Workers, the United Steel Workers of America and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers -- voted to merge by the year 2000.
In 1996, a bomb exploded at Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Games. One woman was killed and more than 100 people were injured.
In 2002, nine coal miners were trapped 240 feet underground in southwest Pennsylvania when a wall collapsed, inundating them with water. A daring three-day rescue operation saved them all.
Also in 2002, in one of the worst air show tragedies, 83 people were killed near Lviv, Ukraine, when a jet fighter crashed amid spectators.
In 2003, legendary comic Bob Hope died of pneumonia at his home in Toluca Lake, Calif., He was 100 years old.
In 2003 sports, Lance Armstrong became the second cyclist to win the Tour de France for a fifth consecutive year.
In 2004, a major U.S. Muslim charity and seven officers were charged with providing millions of dollars to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group blamed for dozens of suicide bombings in Israel.
In 2006, a bipartisan congressional report accused the U.S. Homeland Security Department of mismanaging millions of dollars in contracts.
In 2006 sports, American Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France cycling classic, tested positive for higher levels of testosterone than allowed.
In 2007, forensic experts exhumed remains of 131 Bosnian Muslims massacred by Bosnians Serbs and buried in a mass grave at Srebrenica in 1995.
In 2008, California firefighters battled a wildfire near Yosemite Park that threatened thousands of homes. Some 300 homes were evacuated along the Merced River entrance to Yosemite Park and 2,000 residences were threatened when the Telegraph Fire suddenly exploded from 1,000 to 16,000 acres.
Also in 2008, Indian leaders placed the country on high alert as the death toll in the latest series of bombings rose to at least 45.
A thought for the day: Gustave Flaubert said, "We shouldn't maltreat our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands."