The Almanac

By United Press International  |  July 16, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, July 16, the 197th day of 2005 with 168 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English painter Joshua Reynolds in 1723; Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, in 1821; Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen in 1872; composer/pianist W.C. Handy in 1873; Percy Kilbride ("Pa Kettle") in 1888; vaudeville great Blossom Sealey in 1891; actress Barbara Stanwyck in 1907; actress/dancer Ginger Rogers in 1911; actor Barnard Hughes in 1915; former Miss America Bess Myerson in 1924 (age 81); singer/actor Ruben Blades and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, both in 1948 (age 57); and actors Phoebe Cates in 1965 (age 40) and Corey Feldman in 1971 (age 34).

On this date in history:

In 1769, the first Roman Catholic mission in California was dedicated at the site of present-day San Diego.

In 1790, Congress designated the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of the U.S. government.

In 1945, the first test of the atom bomb was conducted at a super-secret base near Alamogordo, N.M.

In 1959, Billie Holiday, considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time despite a tragic life, died of cardiac failure at age 44.

In 1969, Apollo 11, the first moon-landing mission, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was unanimously nominated as the Republican candidate for president at the GOP National Convention in Detroit. He chose George Bush as his running mate after former President Ford declined to join the ticket.

In 1990, Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev dropped his objections to a unified Germany in NATO.

In 1991, at its London summit, the Group of Seven agreed to support the Soviet Union's economic reforms and its admission to the International Monetary Fund.

In 1995, after Rep. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., met in Baghdad with Saddam Hussein about two American businessmen jailed in Iraq after accidentally crossing the border from Kuwait, Saddam pardoned the men and ordered their release.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average rose above 8,000 for a record close at 8,033.88.

In 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife and her sister were killed when their single-engine plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard. The son of former President Kennedy was 39.

In 2002, the body of a kidnapped 5-year-old girl, Samantha Runnion, was found near Lake Elsinor, Calif., one day after she was seized in the courtyard of an apartment complex at Stanton where she lived. A suspect was arrested.

In 2003, the capital murder trial of suspected Washington area sniper John Allen Muhammad was moved to Virginia Beach, Va.

Also in 2003, authorities said there would be no charges filed against an 86-year-old California man who killed nine people when he drove through a crowded Santa Monica farmer's market. He said he might have confused the brake and gas pedals and had tried to stop.

In 2004, Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of house arrest for lying about a stock sale.

Also in 2004, at least 75 children were believed dead in a fire that engulfed a school in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu.

A thought for the day: There is this from Ogden Nash: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; One end is moo, the other, milk."

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