The Almanac

By United Press International
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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 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."

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