Today is Thursday, July 29, the 211th day of 2004 with 155 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 Leo. They include Grigoriy Rasputin, born in 1871; French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in 1805; novelist Booth Tarkington in 1869; Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1883; actress Theda Bara in 1885; composer Sigmund Romberg (The Student Prince, The Desert Song, Lover Come Back to Me, When I Grow Too Old to Dream), in 1887; actors William Powell in 1892 and Richard Egan in 1923; bluegrass star Homer Haynes, member of Homer and Jethro, in 1917; former Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole in 1936 (age 68); TV anchorman Peter Jennings in 1938 (age 66); actor David Warner in 1941 (age 63); Marilyn Tucker Quayle in 1949 (age 55); documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in 1954 (age 50); country singer Martina McBride in 1966 (age 38); and actor Wil Wheaton ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") in 1972 (age 32).
On this date in history:
In 1848. at the height of the Potato Famine in Ireland, an abortive nationalist revolt against English rule was crushed by a government police detachment in Tipperary.
In 1914, the first transcontinental telephone linkup was completed between San Francisco and New York City.
In 1968, Pope Paul VI upheld the prohibition of all artificial means of birth control for Roman Catholics.
In 1981, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
in 1986, a jury ruled in favor of the U.S. Football League, agreeing that the National Football League illegally monopolized pro football. But the panel only awarded the USFL $1 in damages, effectively spelling the demise of the rival league.
In 1991, the Federal Reserve sought a $200 million penalty against BCCI for violating U.S. banking laws. It was the largest fine in the Federal Reserve's history.
In 1993, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Also in 1993, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction and death sentence of retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi death camp guard known as "Ivan the Terrible."
And in 1993, Morihiro Hosokawa was chosen prime minister by the majority political coalition in the Japanese Diet (parliament).
In 1994, a doctor and his escort were shot to death outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Fla.
Also on 1994, the Senate approved the nomination of Federal Judge Stephen Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1996, China conducted an underground atomic test, then declared a moratorium on such explosions.
In 1998, President Clinton agreed to give videotaped testimony at the White House, which would be viewed by a federal grand jury investigating his alleged affair with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
Also in 1998, a costly 54-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors ended. The walkout at two Flint, Mich., plants caused 27 other GM assembly plants to close.
In 1999, a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., fined President Clinton $89,000 for lying about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.
Also in 1999, a securities trader who'd suffered heavy losses killed 9 people and wounded 11 others in Atlanta before taking his own life. Police later found the bodies of his wife and two children at his home.
In 2003, U.S. security officials reported threats of possible new airline suicide hijackings by terrorists.
Also in 2003, President George W. Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to discuss the Middle East peace process but no significant progress was reported.
A thought for the day: Matthew Arnold said, "Conduct is three-quarters of our life and its largest concern."