The Almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2003 with 159 to follow.

The moon is waning, in its last quarter. The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury Jupiter and Pluto.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Revolutionary War Gen. Henry Knox in 1750; artists Thomas Eakins in 1844 and Maxfield Parrish in 1870; actors Walter Brennan in 1894 and Jack Gilford in 1907; actresses Estelle Getty in 1924 (age 79) and Barbara Harris in 1935 (age 68); folk singer/songwriter Steve Goodman in 1948; model/actress Iman in 1955 (age 48); actor Matt LeBlanc in 1967 (age 36); Louise Joy Brown, the first "test-tube" baby, in 1978 (age 25); and actor Brad Renfro in 1982 (age 21).


On this date in history:

In 1832, one man was killed and three others injured in the first recorded railroad accident in U.S. history. The four were thrown from a vacant car on the Granite Railway near Quincy, Mass.

In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces launched their invasion of Puerto Rico, the 108-mile-long, 40-mile-wide island that was one of Spain's two principal possessions in the Caribbean

In 1909, French pioneer aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly a "heavier-than-air machine" across the English Channel. It took him 36 minutes.

In 1917, Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, was sentenced to death in France for spying on Germany's behalf.

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing U.S. commonwealth.

In 1956, the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria sank off Long Island, N.Y., after colliding with the Stockholm, a Swedish liner.

In 1965, folk legend Bob Dylan performed for the first time with electric instruments, so upsetting his fans they booed him off the stage.

In 1972, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri disclosed he had undergone psychiatric treatment in the 1960s.

Presidential nominee George McGovern replaced him on the ticket with Sargent Shriver.


In 1978, the world's first "test-tube" baby, named Louise Brown, was born in Oldham, England.

In 1986, former Navy radioman Jerry Whitworth was convicted of selling U.S. military secrets to the Soviets through the John Walker spy ring. The government called it the most damaging espionage case since World War II.

In 1990, the Senate voted 96-0 to denounce Sen. Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., for ethics violations.

Also in 1990, Eastern Airlines and 10 present and former managers were indicted on federal charges of faking maintenance records.

In 1991, the South African government admitted donating $35 billion in 1989 to support political parties opposing the South-West Africa People's Organization.

In 1992, the Summer Olympics opened in Barcelona, Spain.

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein signed a declaration that ended the 46-year state of war between their two countries.

In 1997, Autumn Jackson, who claimed to be the out-of-wedlock daughter of Bill Cosby, was convicted of seeking to extort money from the entertainer by threatening to go to the tabloid newspapers with her story.

Also in 1997, captured Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot was sentenced to life imprisonment in a trial by his former comrades in Cambodia.


In 1999, cyclist Lance Armstrong, having overcome cancer, became the first American on an American team to win the Tour de France.

In 2000, an Air France Concorde supersonic jet crashed on takeoff from Paris, killing all 113 people aboard. It was the first crash of a Concorde.

A thought for the day: Margaret Fuller said, "Genius will live and thrive without training, but it does not the less reward the watering pot and pruning knife."

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