Today is Thursday, July 17, the 198th day of 2014 with 167 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English clergyman and author Isaac Watts in 1674; financier John Jacob Astor in 1763; mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner in 1889; actor James Cagney in 1899; TV personality Art Linkletter in 1912; comedian Phyllis Diller in 1917; Olympics movement official Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1920; actors Donald Sutherland and Diahann Carroll and musician Peter Schickele, all in 1935 (age 79); Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and rock musician Spencer Davis, both in 1939 (age 75); basketball Hall of Fame member Connie Hawkins in 1942 (age 72); actors Lucie Arnaz in 1951 (age 63) and David Hasselhoff in 1952 (age 62); singers Nicolette Larson and Phoebe Snow, both in 1952; German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 1954 (age 60).
On this date in history:
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began with an army revolt led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
In 1938, Douglas Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York for a return flight to California but lost his bearings in the clouds, he said, and flew instead to Ireland. He became an instant celebrity called "Wrong Way" Corrigan.
In 1955, Arco, Idaho, a town of 1,300 people, became the first community in the world to receive all its light and power from atomic energy. Also in 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.
In 1975, three U.S. and two Soviet spacemen linked their orbiting Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft for historic handshakes 140 miles above Earth.
In 1981, 114 people were killed and 200 injured in the collapse of two suspended walkways at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800, New York to Paris, crashed off the Long Island coast, killing all 230 people aboard.
In 2006, an earthquake under the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Java, killing about 700 people.
In 2007, a Brazilian Airbus airliner skidded off a runway as it landed at Sao Paulo's Congonhas Airport and crashed into a building. Authorities placed the death toll at 200.
In 2009, Walter Cronkite, television news broadcaster often referred to as the most trusted man in America, died at age 92.
In 2012, the Boy Scouts of America announced a policy of banning homosexuals from membership would remain in effect. (The restriction was removed in 2013 but the BSA still bans gay adult leaders.)
In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union released a report that said police forces were "rapidly expanding their use of automatic license plate readers to track the location of American drivers, but few have meaningful rules in place to protect drivers' privacy rights." An ACLU attorney said, "We don't object to the use of these systems to flag cars that are stolen or belong to fugitives but [there is] a dire need for rules to make sure that this technology isn't used for unbridled government surveillance."
A thought for the day: Isaac Watts said, "Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks."