The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 1, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2005 with 152 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Claudius I , born in 19 BC; French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, known for his theory of evolution, in 1744; explorer William Clark in 1770; Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," in 1779; lawyer and writer Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of "Two Years Before the Mast," in 1815; author Herman Melville ("Moby Dick") in 1819; actors Arthur Hill in 1922 (age 83) and Geoffrey Holder in 1930 (age 75); comic actor Dom DeLuise in 1933 (age 72); French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent in 1936 (age 69); Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead rock group, in 1942; and actress Tempestt Bledsoe in 1973 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.

In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.

In 1907, an Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps, and this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force bought its first airplane, a craft built by the Wright brothers.

In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 pilot spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles.

In 1981, MTV premiered with the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."

In 1990, Moslem rebels surrendered in Trinidad and Tobago, five days after a coup in which Prime Minister Arthur Robinson and dozens of others were taken hostage.

In 1991, Israel agreed to attend a Middle East Peace conference, but only if the PLO was excluded.

In 1993, the rain-bloated Mississippi River finally crested in St. Louis at 49.4 feet, 2.5 feet below the top of the floodwall protecting the central part of the city.

In 1994, Lisa Marie Presley confirmed rumors that she had married pop star Michael Jackson May 26 in the Dominican Republic. The couple divorced less than two years later.

Also in 1994, Haiti declared a state of siege following passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing an invasion of the Caribbean nation.

In 1995, Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced it was buying CBS, one day after Disney announced its purchase of Capital Cities/ABC.

In 1996, Mohammed Farah Aidid, who had controlled much of Somalia during its civil war, died of wounds suffered during a skirmish with another faction.

In 2002, the United Nations said it found no evidence to back up claims by the Palestinians that the Israeli army had massacred Palestinian refugees at a camp in Jenin.

In 2003, the United Nations Security Council approved a multinational force to make peace in civil war-torn Liberia. The resolution made no mention of U.S. troops.

Also in 2003, a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at a military hospital in Chechnya, Russia.

In 2004, five buildings housing financial institutions in New York City, Newark, N.J., and Washington, including the New York Stock Exchange, were reported to be terrorist targets by Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge.

Also in 2004, more than 400 people perished in a supermarket fire on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay.

A thought for the day: in "An Enemy of the People," playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote, "A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."

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