The Almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, Aug. 30, the 243rd day of 2004 with 123 to follow.

The moon is full.


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

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

They include author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ("Frankenstein") in 1797; Louisiana Gov. Huey Long in 1893; actor Raymond Massey in 1896; journalist/author John Gunther and civil rights leader Roy Wilkins, both in 1901; actor Fred MacMurray in 1908; actresses Shirley Booth in 1907 and Joan Blondell in 1909; baseball legend Ted Williams in 1918; country music singer Kitty Wells in 1919 (age 85); singer John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas in 1935; actress Elizabeth Ashley in 1941 (age 63); French Olympic champion skier Jean-Claude Killy in 1943 (age 61); and actors Timothy Bottoms in 1951 (age 53), Michael Chiklis in 1963 (age 41), Michael Michele in 1966 (age 38) and Cameron Diaz in 1972 (age 32).


On this date in history:

On this date in 30 BC, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, committed suicide following the defeat of her forces by Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

In 1780, Gen. Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States when he promised secretly to surrender the fort at West Point to the British army. He later fled to England and died in poverty.

In 1862, the Union Army commanded by Maj. Gen. John Pope was defeated by Confederate troops in the second Battle of Bull Run.

In 1941, German forces began the 900-day siege of Leningrad. When it ended, the Russian city lay in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people had died.

In 1983, Guion Bluford became the first black astronaut in space.

In 1992, at least 15 people were killed and 31 wounded when an artillery shell exploded in a crowded Sarajevo market.

In 1994, the Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations agreed to a merger that would create the largest U.S. defense contractor.

In 1997, the Houston Comets defeated the New York Liberty, 65-51, to become the fledgling Women's National Basketball Association's first champions.


In 2002, major league owners and players reached an agreement, averting a strike.

In 2003, police in NAJAF, Iraq, widened their investigation into the bombing at the Imam Ali Mosque as thousands flocked to the holy city in an outpouring of grief. Prominent Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim was one of more than 120 people killed in the bomb attack.

A thought for the day: it was Francis Bacon who said, "Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out."

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