The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 11, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Sunday, Aug. 11, the 223th day of 2002 with 142 to follow.

The moon is waxing toward a new phase.

The morning stars are Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn.

The evening stars are Mars. Mercury, Venus, Neptune, Pluto.

Those born on this day are under the sign of Leo. They include author Robert Ingersoll in 1833; songwriter Carrie Jacobs Bond ("I Love You Truly") in 1862; art collector Joseph Hirshhorn in 1899; actor Lloyd Nolan in 1902; author Alex Haley in 1921; TV host Mike Douglas in 1925 (age 77); actress Arlene Dahl in 1927 (age 75); TV preacher Jerry Falwell in 1933 (age 69); actress Virna Lisi in 1937 (age 65); columnist Marilyn vos Savant, who claims to have the world's highest IQ, in 1946 (age 56); pop singer Eric Carmen, formerly of the Raspberries, in 1949 (age 53); Apple computer co-founder Stephen Wozniak in 1950 (age 52); and professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, born Terry Gene Bollea, in 1953 (age 49).

On this date in history:

In 1877, American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars, which he named Phobos and Deimos. In 1954, a formal announcement ended the seven-year war in Indochina between France and forces of the communist Viet Minh.

A group of federal prisoners classified as "most dangerous" arrived at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay, on this day in 1934, becoming the first civilians to be housed in the new high-security facilithy.

In 1965, riots began in the Watts section of Los Angeles. In six days of violence, 34 people were killed.

In 1984, in an off-air radio voice check, President Reagan joked, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." The Kremlin was not amused.

In 1991, a Lebanese terrorist group, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, released U.S hostage Edward Tracy, who'd been held captive since October 1986.

In 1992, Ross Perot told a Senate committee that North Vietnam plotted to kill him in the 1970s because of his work on behalf of POWs in Indochina.

Also in 1992, an electrical fire in the 62-story John Hancock office tower forced more than 3,000 workers in Boston's tallest building to flee down smoky, darkened stairwells.

In 1993, President Clinton endorsed the "Brady Bill" handgun control bill and signed an executive order banning the import of semiautomatic assault-style handguns.

Also in 1993, President Clinton named Army Gen. John Shalikashvili to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.

In 1994, major league baseball players went on strike following the conclusion of the day's games.

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request by The Citadel to overturn a federal appeals court ruling ordering the all-male military college to admit female students.

Also in 1995, President Clinton vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would've ended U.S. participation in the arms embargo against the Bosnian government.

And in 1995, 10 declared candidates for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination attended a Dallas conference sponsored by Texas billionaire Ross Perot's grassroots political organization, United We Stand America.

In 1997, President Clinton became the first president to use the line-item veto, a power granted by Congress the year before.

In 1998, two boys were found to be "delinquent," or guilty, of murder in the fatal March shootings of four students and a teacher at their middle school in Jonesboro, Ark.

Also in 1998, British Petroleum announced it would merge with Amoco Corp. in what would be the largest takeover ever of an American company by a foreign company.

In 1999, President Clinton offered the commute the prison sentences of 16 Puerto Rican terrorists if they agreed to renounce violence and comply with other parole requirements.

Also in 1999, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to drop the theory of evolution from the public school curriculum.

A thought for the day: Comic Robin Williams said, "You're best when you're not in charge. The ego locks the muse."

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