The Almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Monday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2005 with 138 to go.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769; Scottish novelist Walter Scott in 1771; longtime Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey in 1859; actress Ethel Barrymore in 1879; novelist Edna Ferber in 1887; British soldier and writer T.E. Lawrence ( "Lawrence of Arabia") in 1888; songwriter Charles Tobias ("Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree") in 1898; composer Ned Washington in 1901; chef Julia Child in 1912 ; conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1924 (age 81); actor Mike Connors in 1925 (age 80); civil rights leader Vernon Jordan Jr. in 1935 (age 70); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in 1938 (age 67); journalist Linda Ellerbee in 1944 (age 61); songwriter Jimmy Webb and politician Kathryn Whitmire, first woman mayor of Houston, both in 1946 (age 59); Britain's Princess Anne in 1950 (age 55); and actors Debra Messing in 1968 (age 37) and Ben Affleck in 1972 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1914, a U.S. ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and pilot Wiley Post were killed when their plane crashed in Alaska.

In 1947, India and Pakistan won their independence from Great Britain.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival opened on Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, N.Y., drawing an estimated 400,000 people for three days of music.

In 1985, South African President P.W. Botha, rejecting Western pleas to abolish apartheid, declared, "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."

In 1987, more than 13.5 inches of rain drenched the Chicago area, causing more than $100 million in damage.

In 1991, the congressional budget office disclosed that the federal deficit would rise to a record $362 billion.

Also in 1991, the U.N. allowed Iraq to sell up to $1.6 billion worth of oil to obtain money for food and medicine.

In 1992, four people were killed and as many as 20 wounded in a shooting spree at a Caribbean nightclub near Miami.


Also in 1992, Vietnam blamed Hollywood for creating the "myth" that U.S. servicemen are being held in Indochina.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II conducted mass for up to 400,000 people at the World Youth Day festival south of Denver.

In 1995, the Justice Department agreed to pay $3.1 million to white separatist Randall Weaver, whose wife and teenage son were killed by FBI sharpshooters during a standoff at his Idaho cabin three years earlier.

In 1998, a bomb blast in Omagh, Northern Ireland, killed 28 people and injured more than 300 others. A 29th victim died a month later. It was the worst attack in 29 years of paramilitary violence in Ulster.

Also in 1998, Pakistan handed over to Kenya a suspect who reportedly confessed to involvement in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi eight days earlier.

In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the United States was experiencing its worst outbreak of mosquito-borne West Nile virus since the virus first appeared in the nation in 1999.

In 2003, Libya admitted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives and agreed to pay reparations that reports say could total $2.7 billion.


In 2004, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan called on Central Africa governments to curb militias in the border areas of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda following the massacre of more than 150 Congolese refugees, mostly women and children, in Burundi.

Also in 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez survived a referendum to oust him.

And, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi marked the 59th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, saying his country is now committed to peacemaking.

A thought for the day: it was Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 16, the 228th day of 2005 with 137 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include the French physicist Gabriel Lippman, inventor of color photography, in 1845; Amos Alonzo Stagg, basketball, football hall of fame coach in 1862; British bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, in 1881; labor leader George Meany in 1894; former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1913; actors Fess Parker in 1925 (age 80), Ann Blyth in 1928 (age 77) and Robert Culp in 1930 (age 75); football player and sports commentator Frank Gifford, also in 1930 (age 75), TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford, in 1953 (age 52); singer Eydie Gorme in 1932 (age 73); actresses Julie Newmar in 1935 (age 70) and Lesley Anne Warren in 1946 (age 59); actor Reginald VelJohnson in 1952 (age 53); director James Cameron in 1954 (age 51); actor Jeff Perry in 1955 (age 50); actress Angela Bassett and singer/actress Madonna, both in 1958 (age 47); and actors Timothy Hutton and Laura Innes, both in 1960 (age 45).


On this date in history:

In 1812, British forces foiled plans for a U.S. invasion of Canada by capturing the city of Detroit.

In 1896, the North Country gold rush began with the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory.

In 1939, New York's famous vaudeville house, the Hippodrome, closed after 34 years.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York of cancer at age 53.

In 1977, Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll, died of heart failure at his home in Memphis, Tenn., at age 42.

In 1987, a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Phoenix crashed on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 people. A 4-year-old girl was the sole survivor.

In 1990, U.S. naval forces were ordered to prevent ships from reaching or leaving the ports of Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

In 2003, power was being restored in the eight mostly northeastern states hit by the massive blackout but reports from Canada said electricity may not be fully restored throughout Ontario for several more days.

In 2004, as many as seven helicopters were pressed into service to rescue hundreds of flood victims stranded on roof and car tops near Cornwall, England. Rescue workers called the situation "horrendous."


A thought for the day: Nicholas Murray Butler said, "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."


Today is Wednesday, Aug. 17, the 229th day of 2005 with 136 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include frontiersman Davy Crockett in 1786; movie producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1882; black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey in 1887; actors Monty Woolley in 1888 and Mae West in 1892; publisher/diplomat John Hay Whitney in 1904; bandleader Hugo Winterhalter in 1909; actors Maureen O'Hara in 1921 (age 84) and Robert DeNiro in 1945 (age 60); U.S. aviator Gary Powers in 1929; British poet laureate Ted Hughes in 1930 (age 75); pop singer Belinda Carlisle in 1958 (age 47); and actor Sean Penn in 1960 (age 45).

On this date in history:


In 1807, Robert Fulton began the first American steamboat trip between Albany, N.Y., and New York City.

In 1915, a hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing 275 people.

In 1961, the East German government began building the Berlin Wall.

In 1978, three Americans completed the first successful crossing of the Atlantic by balloon, landing their helium-filled Double Eagle II near Paris.

In 1987, kidnapped U.S. journalist Charles Glass escaped and was rescued after being held hostage for 62 days in Lebanon.

Also in 1987, Rudolf Hess, Hitler's former deputy, was found strangled in Berlin's Spandau Prison. He was 93.

In 1991, the Lebanese government granted amnesty to former Christian army commander Gen. Michel Aoun and allowed him to leave the French Embassy.

In 1992, filmmaker Woody Allen and his leading lady, Mia Farrow, split up after 12 years together. Allen said he was in love with the actress' adult daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

In 1996, the Reform Party nominated Texas businessman Ross Perot for president.

In 1998, addressing the American people, President Clinton admitted he had a relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky that was "not appropriate."


In 1999, at least 16,000 people were killed and 20,000 more injured when a strong earthquake rocked Turkey.

In 2001, Ford Motor Co. announced it would dismiss up to 5,000 of its salaried employees, or 10 percent of its managers and engineers.

In 2003, a U.S. soldier shot and killed a Reuters photographer at a prison near Baghdad after mistaking his camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Also in 2003, loss of revenue from a fire-damaged Iraqi oil pipeline was estimated at $7 million a day with repairs expected to take a month.

And, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe was reported ready to give up power after 23 years in return for immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during his rule.

In 2004, eight British men arrested with reconnaissance plans for the New York Stock Exchange and other targets have been charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to use radioactive material, toxic gas, chemicals or explosives.

A thought for the day: it was Alexander Woollcott who said, "All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening."


Today is Thursday, Aug. 18, the 230th day of 2005 with 135 to follow.


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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include American explorer Meriwether Lewis in 1774; Chicago department store founder Marshall Field in 1834; songwriter Otto Harbach ("Smoke Gets In Your Eyes") in 1873; former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1917 (age 88); actress Shelley Winters in 1922 (age 83); former first lady Rosalynn Carter in 1927 (age 78); film director Roman Polanski in 1933 (age 72); baseball star Roberto Clemente in 1934; and actors Robert Redford in 1937 (age 68); Martin Mull in 1943 (age 62); Patrick Swayze in 1954 (age 51); Madeleine Stowe in 1958 (age 47); Christian Slater in 1969 (age 36), and Malcolm-Jamal Warner in 1970 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1227, Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who forged an empire stretching from the east coast of China west to the Aral Sea, died in camp during a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia.


In 1587, Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents to be born in the New World, was born at Roanoke Island, N.C.

In 1916, Abraham Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky was given to the U.S. government as a national shrine to the 16th president.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was ratified by Tennessee, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land.

In 1940, the United States and Canada established a World War II plan of joint defense against possible enemy attacks.

In 1960, the first commercially produced oral contraceptives went on the market.

In 1963, James Meredith graduated from the University of Mississippi. He was the first African-American to attend the school and his enrollment touched off deadly riots and necessitated the use of armed guards.

In 1976, President Ford was nominated in Kansas City, Mo., to head the Republican presidential ticket. He lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in November.

In 1977, comedian Julius "Groucho" Marx, leader of the wacky Marx Brothers, died at the age of 87.

In 1982, Lebanon and the Palestine Liberation Organization approved a plan for withdrawal of PLO fighters from besieged West Beirut. Israel approved it the following day.


In 1990, U.S. warships fired warning shots over the bows of two Iraqi tankers, the first salvos of the U.S. embargo.

In 1992, a convoy of 17 buses carrying 1,000 women and children left war-torn Sarajevo in the second such evacuation from Bosnia in a week.

In 1998, in the wake of his admission of an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton was urged to resign by several members of Congress and more than 100 daily newspapers.

In 2002, Abu Nidal, one of the most feared of the Palestinian terrorists, was found shot to death, an apparent suicide.

In 2003, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham warned that consumers would have to pay $50 billion to upgrade the U.S. power transmission system.

Also in 2003, authorities estimated as many as 10,000 people had died in heat-related deaths in France during the ongoing brutal European heat wave.

And, Liberia's government and leaders of rebel groups signed a peace agreement, ending that nation's civil war.

In 2004, intelligence experts told a U.S. Senate panel the flaws in U.S. spy agencies cannot be fixed unless individuals who failed are made accountable.

A thought for the day: Georges Bernanos wrote, "The most dangerous of our calculations are those we call illusions."



Today is Friday, Aug. 19, the 231st day of 2005 with 134 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include English poet John Dryden in 1631; Connecticut clockmaker Seth Thomas in 1785; statesman Bernard Baruch in 1870; aviation pioneer Orville Wright in 1871; French fashion designer Coco Chanel in 1883; actor Alfred Lunt in 1892; humorist Ogden Nash in 1902; pioneer television engineer Philo Farnsworth in 1906; singing Mills Brother Harry Mills in 1913; publisher Malcolm Forbes in 1919; "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry in 1921; jockey Willie Shoemaker in 1931 (age 74); actresses Diane Muldaur in 1938 (age 67) and Jill St. John in 1940 (age 65); Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, in 1946 (age 59); and actors Gerald McRaney in 1948 (age 57), Adam Arkin in 1956 (age 49), John Stamos in 1963 (age 42), and Matthew Perry in 1969 (age 36).


On this date in history:

During the War of 1812, on this date, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution defeated the British frigate Guerrire in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia and earned its nickname of "Old Ironsides." Witnesses said the British shot seemed to bounce off its sides.

In 1915, two Americans were killed when a German U-boat torpedoed the British liner Lusitania in the Atlantic Ocean, an incident that helped bring the United States into World War I.

In 1955, floods hit the northeastern United States, killing 200 people.

In 1960, U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was convicted in a Moscow court and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released 18 months later and exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

In 1977, one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history hit the eastern Indian Ocean between Australia and Indonesia, rattling buildings in Perth, Australia, 1,000 miles to the south.

In 1987, gun enthusiast Michael Ryan went on a shooting rampage in Hungerford, England, killing 16 people.

In 1991, Soviet President Gorbachev was detained at his vacation dacha as military and KGB hardliners staged a coup that ultimately failed.


In 1992, delegates to the Republican National Convention nominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle for re-election. They were defeated in November by Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

In 1993, former contra rebels in Nicaragua took a government delegation hostage. In retaliation, ex-Sandinistra soldiers seized political leaders in Managua, the capital. All hostages were released by both groups by Aug. 25.

In 1994, President Clinton announced he was ending the 28-year U.S. policy of letting Cuban refugees take up U.S. residency if they reached the country.

In 1995, three U.S. negotiators, including U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Frasure, were killed when their vehicle plunged from a mountain road near Sarajevo, Bosnia.

In 1996, the Green Party nominated Ralph Nader as its presidential candidate.

In 1998, the Teamsters Union and UPS reached an agreement that ended a 15-day strike by 185,000 workers.

In 2003, the United Nations' representative to Iraq was among the 22 people killed when a cement mixer truck loaded with 1,500 pounds of explosives blew up at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Also in 2003, a suicide bomber exploded a device aboard a Jerusalem bus killing and injuring more than 100 people.


And, California Gov. Gray Davis, facing a recall vote, charged the recall was part of a Republican plot to steal elections.

In 2004, the price of oil hit a new high of $48.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Also in 2004, the United States deployed new aircraft and marine surveillance and security units along its western border with Canada, with more planned to the east.

A thought for the day: Walter C Hagen said, "You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way."


Today is Saturday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2005 with 133 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, in 1833; poet Edgar Guest in 1881; horror writer H.P. Lovecraft in 1890; architect Eero Saarinen in 1910; author Jacqueline Susann in 1921; boxing promoter Don King in 1931 (age 74); former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 1941 (age 64); former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1944; singer/songwriter Isaac Hayes, also in 1944 (age 61); journalist Connie Chung in 1946 (age 59); rock star Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame in 1948 (age 57); actor Michael Jeter in 1952; meteorologist Al Roker in 1954 (age 51); and actress Joan Allen in 1956 (age 49).


On this date in history:

In 1741, Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered what is now Alaska.

In 1968, approximately 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" -- a brief period of liberalization in the communist country.

In 1977, the first U.S. Voyager spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., bound for Jupiter and Saturn.

In 1982, President Reagan announced that a contingent of U.S. Marines would join French and Italian troops as peacekeepers in Beirut.

In 1986, postal worker Patrick Henry Sherrill shot and killed 14 fellow workers and wounded six others in the Edmond, Okla., post office before killing himself.

In 1990, ending administration resistance to the term, President Bush declared that Americans and other foreigners held by Iraq are "hostages" and warned he will hold Iraq responsible for their "safety and well-being."

In 1996, President Clinton signed into law an increase in the minimum wage in two steps from $4.25 to $5.15 an hour.

In 1997, NATO forces seized thousands of weapons being kept at police stations in Serbian Bosnia's largest city.

In 1998, U.S. missiles struck sites in Afghanistan and Sudan said to be linked with terrorists. The attacks were in response to the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 13 days earlier.


In 2002, a group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein took over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and giving up.

In 2003, in the aftermath of the bombing of its Iraq headquarters in Baghdad, the United Nations said it would continued its work but would reduce its staff.

Also in 2003, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the state supreme court building.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry's U.S. presidential campaign filed a complaint accusing Republicans of financing a veterans group out to smear him with phony charges.

Also in 2004, the United Nations said at least 13,000 Afghans returning home from Iran were stranded in the border area because of fighting in western Afghanistan.

A thought for the day: in the movie "Klondike Annie," Mae West said, "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."


Today is Sunday Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2005 with 132 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include illustrator Aubrey Beardsley in 1872; jazz great William "Count" Basie in 1904; mystery novelist Anthony Boucher in 1911; Britain's Princess Margaret in 1930; basketball star Wilt Chamberlain in 1936; country/pop singer Kenny Rogers in 1938 (age 67); actor Clarence Williams III in 1939 (age 66); pop singer Jackie DeShannon in 1944 (age 61); and actresses Patty McCormack in 1945 (age 60) and Kim Cattrall in 1956 (age 49); American Online founder Steve Case in 1958 (age 47); former football player Jim McMahon in 1959 (age 46); and actress Alicia Witt in 1975 (age 30).

On this date in history:

On this date in 1831, slave Nat Turner launched a bloody slave insurrection in Southampton County, Va., leading to the deaths of 60 white people. Turner, an educated minister who considered himself chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery, was hanged.

In 1935, Benny Goodman's nationally broadcast concert at Los Angeles' Palomar Theater was such a hit that it often has been referred to as the kickoff of the swing era.


In 1940, exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City on orders from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

In 1951, the United States ordered construction of the world's first atomic submarine, the Nautilus.

In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia to end its bid for independence from Moscow.

In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated as he stepped from a plane at the Manila airport.

In 1986, gas belching from a volcanic lake in the remote mountains of Cameroon killed more than 1,700 people and injured 500.

In 1991, a coup to oust Soviet President Gorbachev collapsed two days after it began.

In 1992, fugitive neo-Nazi leader Randall Weaver opened fire on U.S. marshals from inside his Idaho mountaintop home. His wife and teenage son and a deputy marshal died in the 11-day standoff.

In 1993, contact was lost with the Mars Observer spacecraft only three days before it was to begin orbiting the planet.

In 1994, the House of Representatives passed, 225-210, a revised version of President Clinton's crime bill.

Also in 1994, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon was elected president of Mexico.


In 1995, the Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds tobacco companies agreed to drop libel suits against ABC News after the network apologized for reporting a year earlier that cigarette makers added nicotine in order to addict smokers.

In 1996, President Clinton signed a law that let Americans carry health insurance from one job to the next, and limited denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

In 2002, President Bush said that while no decision had been made whether to go to war against Iraq, he believed a "regime change" would be "in the best interest of the world."

Also in 2002, Michael Copper, former executive of the bankrupt energy giant Enron, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

In 2003, U.S. authorities announced the arrest of the man dubbed "Chemical Ali" for his use of chemical weapons in Iraq.

In 2004, two French journalists were reported kidnapped by Islamic radicals who demanded France repeal its ban on Muslim headscarves in school. France refused.

A thought for the day: it was Ernie Pyle who said, "I write from the worm's-eye point of view."


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