The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Sunday, Aug. 6, the 218th day of 2006 with 147 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 English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1809; Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons in 1881; Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, also in 1881; movie cowboy star Hoot Gibson and reporter Lowell Thomas, both 1892; silent film actress Clara Bow in 1905; comedian Lucille Ball in 1911; actor Robert Mitchum in 1917; former airline executive Freddie Laker, in 1922 (age 84); artist Andy Warhol in 1928; actress Catherine Hicks in 1951 (age 55); and film director M. Night Shyamalan in 1970 (age 36).

On this date in history:

In 1890, the first execution by electric chair was carried out. William Kemmler was put to death at Auburn Prison in New York for the ax murder of his girlfriend.


In 1926, Gertrude Ederle of New York became the first American to swim the English Channel.

In 1940, Italy invaded British Somaliland, starting the Battle of North Africa in World War II.

In 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Eight days later, after Nagasaki also was bombed, Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80 after a heart attack. He had led the Roman Catholic Church for 15 years.

In 1986, William Schroeder died of a stroke in Louisville, Ky., after 620 days with the Jarvik-7 mechanical heart. He was the longest-living permanent artificial heart patient.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council voted to impose worldwide economic and military embargo on Iraq as punishment for its invasion of Kuwait.

In 1993, the U.S. Congress completed action on a $6.2 billion flood-relief package.

Also in 1993, Morihiro Hosokawa was elected prime minister of Japan.

In 1995, some 100,000 people attended a memorial service in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing that helped end World War II.

Also in 1995, police in Colombia captured Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the reputed co-leader of the Cali drug cartel.


In 1996, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced the discovery of evidence of a primitive life form on Mars.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8,259.31.

In 2002, doctors in Los Angeles separated two 1-year-old Guatemala twin girls joined at the heads in a 22-hour operation.

In 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California on TV's "The Tonight Show."

In 2005, Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier slain in Iraq, gained national attention when she set up camp outside U.S. President George W. Bush's Texas ranch, bitterly criticizing the war and demanding to see him.

Also in 2005, a Newsweek poll gave U.S. President George W. Bush his lowest ratings ever on his handling of the war in Iraq. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed disapproved of the president's actions and 34 percent approved -- the first time his approval rating on Iraq dropped below 40 percent in the Newsweek poll.

A thought for the day: it was Will Rogers who said, "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else."


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