Today is Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014 with 160 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars and Saturn.
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 (age 79); comedian Ruth Buzzi in 1936 (age 78); actors Dan Hedaya in 1940 (age 71), Chris Sarandon in 1942 (age 72), Robert Hays in 1947 (age 67), Michael Richards in 1949 (age 65) and Lynda Carter in 1951 (age 63); comedian Gallagher in 1946 (age 68) basketball Hall of Fame member Karl Malone in 1963 (age 51); actor/singer Kristin Chenoweth in 1968 (age 46); actor/singer Jennifer Lopez in 1969 (age 45); actors Rose Byrne in 1979 (age 35) and Anna Paquin in 1982 (age 32); and Australian television host Bindi Irwin in 1998 (age 16).
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 1969, Apollo 11 returned to Earth after its historic moon-landing mission. After the spacecraft's splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were flown by helicopter to the recovery ship USS Hornet.
In 1983, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals had a home run nullified in the "Pine Tar Incident" after New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin had Brett's bat examined by umpires. (The home run was later reinstated.)
In 1998, a gunman opened fire at the Capitol in Washington, killing two police officers and wounding a tourist. Police shot the gunman, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., who survived. (He was later charged with murder and has been confined to a psychiatric institution.)
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, served seven years in prison.)
In 2009, an increase in the federal minimum wage, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour, went into effect. Representatives of small businesses said the increase would threaten their survival.
In 2011, hundreds of gay couples in formal suits and gowns and T-shirts recited vows after New York became the sixth and largest state to recognize same-sex weddings.
In 2012, the British government said 18,200 military personnel were assigned to security duties at the London Olympics, opening in a few days.
In 2013, a high-speed passenger train derailed and broke apart on a curve in northwest Spain, killing 78 people and injuring injuring scores of others.
A thought for the day: Neil Armstrong said the Apollo missions demonstrated that "humanity is not forever chained to this planet, and our visions go rather further than that, and our opportunities are unlimited."