The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 2, 2006 at 8:05 AM
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Today is Sunday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2005 with 146 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Carl Ritter, the German co-founder of modern geographical science, in 1779; the World War I Dutch spy and courtesan known as Mata Hari (Margaret Gertrude Zelle) in 1876; actress Billie Burke in 1885; British archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey in 1903; American statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph J. Bunche in 1904; film director Nicholas Ray in 1911; comedian/producer Stan Freberg in 1926 (age 79); singer B.J. Thomas and humorist Garrison Keillor, both in 1942 (age 63); and actors John Glover in 1944 (age 61), David Duchovney in 1960 (age 45) and Charlize Theron in 1975 (age 30).

On this date in history:

In 1782, the Order of the Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington to honor Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

In 1942, U.S. Marines launched America's first offensive in World War II, landing on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.

In 1959, the satellite Explorer-6 transmitted man's first view of the Earth from space.

In 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first wife of a president since the days of Grover Cleveland to give birth while he was in the White House. The infant, a boy, died two days later.

In 1990, President Bush sent U.S. troops and air power to protect Saudi Arabian oil fields from possible Iraqi attack.

In 1998, bombs detonated within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.

In 2001, Uribe Velez was sworn in as president of Colombia in ceremonies interrupted by rebel shelling that killed 15 and wounded 60.

In 2003, a car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, killing 19 and injuring at least 65 others.

In 2004, Iraqi militants released a video reportedly showing the beheading of a U.S. citizen.

Also in 2004, two former top East German officials were convicted by a Berlin state court of failing to stop the killing of people trying to escape across the Berlin wall. They drew probation.

A thought for the day: Leo C. Rosten said of W.C. Fields, "Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad."

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