The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 30, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Today is Friday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2002 with 123 to follow.

The moon is waning.

The morning stars are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury and Venus, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ("Frankenstein") in 1797; Louisiana Gov. Huey Long in 1893; actor Raymond Massey in 1896; journalist/author John Gunther and civil rights leader Roy Wilkins, both in 1901; actor Fred MacMurray in 1908; actresses Shirley Booth in 1907 and Joan Blondell in 1909; baseball slugger Ted Williams in 1918; country music singer Kitty Wells in 1919 (age 83); singer John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas in 1935; actress Elizabeth Ashley ("Evening Shade") in 1941 (age 61); French Olympic champion skier Jean-Claude Killy in 1943 (age 59); and actors Timothy Bottoms in 1951 (age 51), Michael Chiklis in 1963 (age 39), Michael Michele ("Homicide: Life on the Street," "ER") in 1966 (age 36) and Cameron Diaz in 1972 (age 30).

On this date in history:

In 30 BC, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, committed suicide following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

In 1780, Gen. Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States when he promised secretly to surrender the fort at West Point to the British army. He later fled to England and died in poverty.

In 1862, the Union Army commanded by Maj. Gen. John Pope was defeated by Confederate troops in the second Battle of Bull Run.

In 1941, German forces began the 900-day siege of Leningrad. When it ended, the Russian city lay in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people had died.

In 1983, Guion Bluford became the first black astronaut in space.

In 1992, at least 15 people were killed and 31 wounded when an artillery shell exploded in a crowded Sarajevo market.

In 1994, the Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations agreed to a merger that would create the largest U.S. defense contractor.

In 1997, the Houston Comets defeated the New York Liberty, 65-51, to become the fledgling Women's National Basketball Association's first champions.

On this date in 2001, for the first time since April, the Dow Jones industrial average closed on Wall Street below 10,000 -- 9,919.58, to be exact. It had lost 10 percent of its value since June.

A thought for the day: it was Francis Bacon who said, "Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out."

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