Today is Sunday, July 18, the 200th day of 2004 with 166 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1811; actor Chill Wills in 1903; playwright Clifford Odets in 1906; composer, arranger, pianist Lou Busch (a.k.a. Joe "Fingers" Carr) in 1910; actor Hume Cronyn in 1911; comedian Red Skelton in 1913; actress Harriet Hilliard Nelson in 1914; South African black leader Nelson Mandela in 1918 (age 86); astronaut-turned-Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, in 1921 (age 83); journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson and pop singer Dion Di Mucci, both in 1939 (age 65); actor James Brolin in 1941 (age 63); singer Martha Reeves in 1941 (age 63); publisher Steve Forbes in 1947 (age 57); country singer Ricky Skaggs in 1954 (age 50); actress Elizabeth McGovern in 1961 (age 43); and basketball star Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway in 1972 (age 32).
On this date in history:
In 64 A.D. fire destroyed nearly two-thirds of Rome.
In 1925, seven months after he was released from jail, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his personal manifesto, Mein Kampf.
In 1936, a nephew of Oscar Mayer invented the "Weinermobile."
In 1939, MGM held a sneak preview of "The Wizard of Oz" after which producers debated about removing one of the songs because it seemed to slow things down. They finally decided to leave it in. The song: "Over the Rainbow."
In 1977, Vietnam was admitted to the United Nations.
In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.
In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people.
In 1991, the first Ibero-American Summit Conference opened in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Also in 1991, the Yugoslav federal presidency began withdrawing troops from Slovenia.
In 1992, youths rampaged for a second night in southwest England following the deaths of two young men on a stolen police motorcycle.
In 1994, a car bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killed some 100 people in or near a building that housed Jewish organizations.
In 2003, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was charged with one count of sexual assault, a Class III felony that carries a possible jail term of four years to life in prison. The charge stemmed from an incident involving a 19-year-old female employee of an Edwards, Colo., hotel.
Also in 2003, British scientist David Kelly, a government adviser and former weapons inspector in Iraq, was found dead, an apparent suicide.
A thought for the day: Fellini said, "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."