The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2003 with 147 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo.

They include English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1809; Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons in 1881; Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, also in 1881; movie cowboy star Hoot Gibson in 1892 and reporter Lowell Thomas, both 1892; silent film actress Clara Bow in 1905; comedian Lucille Ball in 1911; actor Robert Mitchum in 1917; L. Bruce Laingen, the highest-ranking diplomat among the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days, and former airline executive Freddie Laker, both in 1922 (age 81); artist Andy Warhol in 1927; and actresses Catherine Hicks in 1951 (age 52) and Soleil Moon Frye in 1976 (age 27).


On this date in history:

In 1890, the first execution by electric chair was carried out. William Kemmler was put to death at Auburn Prison in New York for the axe murder of his girlfriend.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle of New York became the first American to swim the English Channel.

In 1940, Italy invaded British Somaliland, starting the Battle of North Africa in World War II.

In 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Eight days later, after Nagasaki also was bombed, Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80 after a heart attack. He had led the Roman Catholic Church for 15 years.

In 1986, William Schroeder died of a stroke in Louisville, Ky., after 620 days with the Jarvik-7 mechanical heart. He was the longest-living permanent artificial heart patient.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council voted to impose worldwide economic and military embargo on Iraq as punishment for its invasion of Kuwait.

In 1993, Congress completed action on a $6.2 billion flood relief package.

Also in 1993, Morihiro Hosokawa was elected prime minister of Japan.


In 1995, some 100,000 people attended a memorial service in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing that helped end World War II.

Also in 1995, police in Columbia captured Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the reputed co-leader of the Cali drug cartel.

In 1996, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced the discovery of evidence of a primitive life form on Mars. The evidence came from a fossil found on a meteorite in Antarctica believed to have come from Mars billions of years ago.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8259.31.

In 2002, doctors in Los Angeles, in a two-hour operation, separated two one-year-old Guatemala twin girls joined at the heads.

A thought for the day: it was Will Rogers who said, "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else."

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