Today is Wednesday, Aug. 27, the 239th day of 2014 with 126 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include German philosopher Georg Hegel in 1770; novelist Theodore Dreiser in 1871; English automaker Charles Rolls in 1877; photographer Man Ray in 1890; British novelist C.S. Forester in 1899; Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the United States, in 1908; singer/actor Martha Raye in 1916; writers Ira Levin in 1929 and William Least Heat-Moon in 1939 (age 75); singer/actor Tommy Sands in 1937 (age 77); actors Tuesday Weld in 1943 (age 71), Barbara Bach in 1947 (age 67); Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) in 1952 (age 62); golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer in 1957 (age 57); and actor Sarah Chalke in 1976 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1859, the first successful oil well in the United States was drilled near Titusville, Pa.
In 1883, the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurred on Krakatoa, a small, uninhabited island west of Sumatra in Indonesia.
In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war as a means to settle international disputes, was signed by 15 nations in Paris. (World War II began 11 years later.)
In 1939, Adolf Hitler served notice on England and France that Germany wanted Danzig and the Polish Corridor.
In 1977, IRA militants killed Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of England, by blowing up his boat. It was the IRA's first attack on the royal family.
In 1999, two Russian cosmonauts and a French astronaut left Mir to return to Earth, leaving the orbiting Russian space station unmanned for the first time in 13 years.
In 2004, Russian authorities said traces of explosives were found in the wreckage of two airliners that crashed within minutes of each other after takeoff earlier in the week in Moscow. Eighty-nine people died in the crashes.
In 2007, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation, effective Sept. 17. He had been embroiled in several controversies, including the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, treatment of detainees, surveillance and other issues.
In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was formally chosen as the Democratic presidential nominee at the party's national convention in Denver. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware was the party's vice presidential nominee.
In 2009, 17-year-old Briton Mike Perham, after a nine-month voyage in a 50-foot yacht, was recognized as the youngest person to sail alone around the world without assistance. At age 14, he had been the youngest to sail solo across the Atlantic.
In 2010, the planned $3 billion merger of Continental and United Airlines was approved by the U.S. Justice Department, clearing the major regulatory hurdle to the creation of the world's biggest airline.
In 2013, authorities in Iraq said about 10 coordinated rush-hour bombings in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad killed more than 50 people and wounded about 160.
A thought for the day: "When you're traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road." -- William Least Heat-Moon