The Almanac

By United Press International  |  July 19, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Friday, July 19, the 200th day of 2002 with 165 to follow.

The moon is waxing in its first quarter.

The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn.

The evening stars are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include American firearms inventor Samuel Colt in 1814; French painter Edgar Degas in 1834; accused ax murderer Lizzie Borden (she was acquitted) in 1860; Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, in 1865; author A.J. Cronin in 1896; former Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., in 1922 (age 80); former CIA agent-turned-author Philip Agee in 1935 (age 67); singer Vikki Carr in 1941 (age 60); former tennis star Ilie Nastase in 1946 (age 56); and actor Anthony Edwards ("ER") in 1962 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovered a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The Rosetta Stone, as it was called, held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a long dead written language.

In 1848, "bloomers," a radical departure in women's clothing, were introduced to the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. They were named after Amelia Jenks Bloomer.

In 1918, the end of World War I approached as the German army began retreating across the Marne River in France.

In 1946, Marilyn Monroe was given her first screen test, at Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Even without sound, the test was enough to earn Monroe her first contract.

In 1969, John Fairfax of Britain arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to become the first person to row across the Atlantic alone.

In 1984, Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, D-N.Y., was chosen as Walter Mondale's vice-presidential running mate at the Democratic National Convention.

In 1989, a crippled DC-10 jetliner crash-landed in a cornfield in Sioux City, Iowa. Amazingly, 181 of the 293 people aboard survived.

In 1990, Pete Rose was sentenced to five months in prison for tax evasion.

In 1991, nine days of combat between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan soldiers left 78 soldiers and 600 rebels dead in the fiercest fighting since 1983.

In 1993, the Pentagon unveiled its "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy toward homosexuals in the military.

Also in 1993, former U.S. House postmaster Robert Rota pleaded guilty to conspiring to embezzle public funds.

In 1994, President Clinton said he could accept a health care compromise that would cover about 95 percent of the population. He'd previously said he'd accept nothing less than universal coverage.

In 1995, two House subcommittees opened hearings on the 51-day siege by federal agents of the Branch Davidian compound that began February 28, 1993.

In 1996, the Summer Olympics opened in Atlanta. A record 197 nations took part.

In 1997, the IRA declared a cease-fire in its long war to force Britain out of Northern Ireland.

Also in 1997, Liberia's first peaceful presidential election following a seven-year civil war was won by Charles Taylor, a rebel leader with a reputation for brutality.

In 1999, hot weather settled in over the eastern United States, lasting through the end of the month and causing at least 200 deaths -- 80 in Illinois alone.

A thought for the day: Yoga Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over."

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