The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 19, 2005 at 3:30 AM
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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 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 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 hard-liners 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 United States.

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 U.N. representative to Iraq was among the 22 people killed when a cement mixer truck loaded with 1,500 pounds of explosives blew up at 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."

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