Today is Monday, July 17, the 198th day of 2006 with 167 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English clergyman and author Isaac Watts in 1674; financier John Jacob Astor in 1763; mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner in 1889; actor James Cagney in 1899; Nobel Prize-winning Yiddish storyteller Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1904; TV personality Art Linkletter in 1912 (age 94); comedian Phyllis Diller in 1917 (age 89); actor Donald Sutherland in 1934 (age 72); actress/singer Diahann Carroll in 1935 (age 71); rock musician Spencer Davis in 1942 (age 64); actress Lucie Arnaz in 1951 (age 55); actor David Hasselhoff in 1952 (age 54); and singers Nicolette Larson and Phoebe Snow (age 54), both in 1952.
On this date in history:
In 1918, Russian Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children were executed by firing squad in the Ural Mountains of Siberia.
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began with an army revolt led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
In 1938, Douglas Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in New York for a return flight to California but lost his bearings in the clouds, he said, and flew instead to Ireland. He became an instant celebrity and was forever after known as "Wrong Way" Corrigan.
In 1955, Arco, Idaho, a town of 1,300 people, became the first community in the world to receive all its light and power from atomic energy.
Also in 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.
In 1975, three U.S. and two Soviet spacemen linked their orbiting Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft for historic handshakes 140 miles above Earth.
In 1981, 111 people were killed and 200 injured when two suspended walkways collapsed at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1986, Dallas-based LTV Corporation, $4 billion in debt, declared the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history at the time.
In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, refused a pregnant social worker access to the unlicensed French abortion pill RU-486.
In 1993, the Midwest flood knocked out the Bayview Bridge connecting Quincy, Ill., with West Quincy, Mo., the last remaining crossing over the Mississippi River for about 200 miles.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800, New York to Paris, crashed off the Long Island coast, killing all 230 people aboard.
In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton became the first sitting U.S. president to be subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury as independent counsel Kenneth Starr continued his investigation into the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Also in 1998, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at an all-time high of 9,337.97, its 28th record closing that year.
In 2003, an attack on a convoy in Iraq killed one soldier and pushed the death toll of U.S. troops in the Iraqi conflict to 148, one more than died in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
In 2005, a reported 59 people were killed and 86 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a gas tanker in Musayyib, south of Baghdad, in one of the deadliest attacks since the U.S. invasion.
A thought for the day: Goethe called architecture "frozen music."