The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Aug. 25, the 238th day of 2004 with 128 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Czar Ivan IV ("Ivan the Terrible") of Russia, in 1530; Allan Pinkerton, founder of the private detective agency, in 1819; author Bret Harte in 1836; dancer/actress Ruby Keeler in 1910; "Pogo" cartoonist Walt Kelly in 1913; bandleader/singer Bob Crosby also in 1913; actors Van Johnson in 1916 (age 88) and Mel Ferrer in 1917 (age 87); composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1918; singer Ella Fitzgerald also in 1918; former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1919; Monty Hall, host of "Let's Make A Deal," in 1923 (age 81); actor Sean Connery in 1930 (age 74); talk-show host Regis Philbin in 1934 (age 70); actress Anne Archer in 1947 (age 57); actor John Savage and rock singer Gene Simmons of KISS, both in 1949 (age 55); singer/songwriter Elvis Costello in 1954 (age 50); country singer Billy Ray Cyrus ("Achy Breaky Heart") and actress Ally Walker, both in 1961 (age 43); actors Blair Underwood and Joanne Whalley, both in 1964 (age 40); and supermodel Claudia Schiffer in 1971 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1718, the city of New Orleans was founded.

On this date in 1875, Matthew Webb, a 27-year-old British merchant navy captain, became the first known person to successfully swim the English Channel.

In 1920, on this date, the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

In 1944, American troops liberated Paris from the Nazis in World War II.

In 1967, a sniper assassinated American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell in Arlington, Va.

In 1985, Samantha Smith, 13, was killed with her father and six other people in a plane crash in Maine. Her 1983 letter to Soviet President Yuri Andropov about her fear of nuclear war earned her a visit to the Soviet Union.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council voted 13-0 to authorize use of "minimal" force against ships breaking the economic embargo of Iraq.

In 1991, the Soviet republic of Byelorussia declared independence.

In 1992, researchers reported that cigarette smoking significantly boosts the risk of developing cataracts, a leading cause of blindness.

Also in 1992, right-wing extremists, egged on by Berlin residents, set fire to a hostel for Vietnamese asylum seekers during a third night of violence against foreigners.


In 1993, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in connection with a number of terrorist activities, including the bombing of the World Trade Center.

Also in 1993, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of 3652.09.

In 1994, the Senate followed the House's lead and passed President Clinton's crime bill.

In 1995, Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., reversed his position and called for public hearings in the sexual harassment allegations against him.

In 1999, after previously denying it used any such incendiary devices, the FBI admitted it fired pyrotechnic tear-gas canisters at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, on the day in 1993 that the standoff came to a fiery end. But it said the canisters bounced harmlessly off the compound's outer walls.

In 2003, at least 45 people died and more than 61 were injured when two car bombs exploded in a crowded area of Mumbai, near central Bombay.

A thought for the day: John Berryman said, "Something has been said for sobriety but very little."

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