Today is Tuesday, July 24, the 206th day of 2012 with 160 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include South American revolutionary and statesman Simon Bolivar in 1783; French novelist Alexandre Dumas the Elder, author of "The Three Musketeers," in 1802; British poet/author Robert Graves in 1895; aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in 1897; actor Chief Dan George in 1899; artist Zelda Fitzgerald in 1900; writer John D. MacDonald in 1916; feminist and former U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug, D-N.Y., in 1920; political cartoonist Pat Oliphant in 1935 (77); comedian Ruth Buzzi in 1936 (age 76); actors Chris Sarandon in 1942 (age 70), Robert Hays in 1947 (age 65), Michael Richards in 1949 (age 63) and Lynda Carter in 1951 (age 61); basketball Hall of Fame member Karl Malone in 1963 (age 49); actor/singer Kristin Chenoweth in 1968 (age 44); actor/singer Jennifer Lopez in 1969 (age 43); actors Rose Byrne in 1979 (age 33) and Anna Paquin in 1982 (age 30); and Australian television host Bindi Irwin in 1998 (age 14).
On this date in history:
In 1679, New Hampshire became a royal colony of the British crown.
In 1847, After 17 months and many miles of travel, Brigham Young led 148 Mormon pioneers into Utah's Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
In 1956, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed together for the last time.
In 1969, Apollo 11 returned to Earth after the historic moon-landing mission.
In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. President Richard Nixon should surrender White House tapes for the criminal trials of his former associates.
In 1983 sports, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals has a home run nullified in the "Pine Tar Incident" when New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin had Brett's bat examined by umpires. The home run was later reinstated.
In 1989, the Exxon Corp. estimated that its cleanup of the Alaskan oil spill would cost $1.28 billion.
In 1997, the Scottish scientists who produced Dolly the cloned sheep announced they had cloned a sheep with human genes.
In 1998, a gunman opened fire at the Capitol in Washington, killing two police officers and wounding a tourist. Police shot the gunman, who survived and was later charged with murder.
In 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives expelled Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, by a vote of 420-1. Traficant, who had been convicted of racketeering, bribery and corruption, was the second House member expelled since the Civil War.
In 2003, House and Senate intelligence committees said the FBI and CIA had disregarded warnings before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that al-Qaida planned to strike directly at the United States.
In 2005, a powerful car bomb blast targeting a Baghdad police station killed at least 40 people and injured another 30.
In 2006, deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was hospitalized on a forced feeding tube in Baghdad as his massacre trial resumed without him.
In 2007, a national minimum wage increase raised the hourly figure to $5.85 from $5.15. The wage goes up 70 cents each of the next two years when it will be $7.25 an hour.
In 2009, an increase in the federal minimum wage, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour, went into effect. Representatives of some small businesses claimed the increase would threaten their survival.
In 2010, mass panic among the huge crowd struggling to follow floats, dancers and throbbing music into the Love Parade festival site at Duisburg, Germany, left 21 people crushed to death and a reported 500 others injured. German media said as many as 1.4 million showed up for the event.
In 2011, brutal heat and humidity made for a sizzling summer in much of the United States, breaking many records and contributing to dozens of deaths.
Also in 2011, Germany agreed to a $144 million loan to Libya's rebels seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi but only for humanitarian and civilian purposes.
And, hundreds of same-sex couples in formal suits, gowns and T-shirts recited vows as New York became the sixth and largest state to recognize same-sex weddings.
A thought for the day: Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, "There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life."