Today is Thursday, July 26, the 208th day of 2012, with 158 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 artist George Catlin, painter of American Indian scenes, in 1796; Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw in 1856; Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, founder of analytic psychology, in 1875; British novelist Aldous Huxley in 1894; comedian Gracie Allen in 1895; U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., who led the 1950-51 Senate investigation of organized crime, in 1903; actor Vivian Vance in 1909; Erskine Hawkins, trumpet virtuoso, band leader, in 1914; storyteller Jean Shepherd in 1921; actor Jason Robards, movie producer Blake Edwards and baseball Hall of Fame member Hoyt Wilhelm, all in 1922; children's author Jan Berenstain in 1923; filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in 1928; rock star Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones in 1943 (age 69); British actor Helen Mirren in 1945 (age 67); tennis player Vitas Gerulaitis in 1954; Olympic gold medal skater Dorothy Hamill in 1956 (age 56); and actors Kevin Spacey in 1959 (age 53), Sandra Bullock in 1964 (age 48) and Kate Beckinsale in 1973 (age 39).
On this date in history:
In 1788, New York becomes the 11th state of the United States upon ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1847, Liberia became a republic and Africa's first sovereign, black-ruled democratic nation.
In 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was born when a group of newly hired investigators was ordered to report to the Justice Department. The special unit officially became the FBI in 1935.
In 1941, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines.
In 1948, U.S. President Harry S. Truman orders desegregation of the U.S. military.
In 1956, Egypt created a crisis by nationalizing the British and French-owned Suez Canal.
In 1984, "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" became the first network television show to be broadcast in stereo.
In 1990, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 408-18 to reprimand Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., for actions he took on behalf of a male prostitute.
In 1992, under pressure, Iraq backed down and agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to look for documentation on weapons of mass destruction.
Also in 1992, Motown singer/songwriter Mary Wells died of cancer at age 49.
In 2005, the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral in the first launch since the 2003 Columbia tragedy.
In 2007, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed anti-terrorism legislation that enhances screening of air and sea cargo and allocates more funds to states deemed at risk of attack.
In 2008, the U.S. Senate used a rare weekend session to pass a landmark housing bill meant to mitigate the ongoing mortgage crisis. The bill, which offered up to $300 billion in loan guarantees for consumers saddled with subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages and facing possible foreclosure.
Also in 2008, bombs concealed in tea boxes rocked the second Indian city in two days, killing at least 29 people and injuring 88. Nine explosions in a similar attack the day earlier at Bangalore killed two and injured 29 others.
In 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Also in 2009, Nigerian security forces clashed with a radical Islamic group in a 5-day battle that left a reported 700 people dead.
In 2010, the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said the decision to post more than 75,000 secret U.S. Afghan war documents on the Internet was to give a complete picture of the conflict. The White House called the deed "a potential to be very harmful."
In 2011, U.S. Rep. David Wu, a 7-term Oregon Democrat, announced he would resign after a published report alleged he had made unwanted sexual advances on the 18-year-old daughter of a friend and campaign donor.
Also in 2011, 61 percent of likely U.S. voters, who expressed dislike for both parties, said they thought congressional members were doing a poor job, a Rasmussen Reports survey indicated.
A thought for the day: Matthew Arnold wrote, "The free thinking of one age is the common sense of the next."