The Almanac

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Today is Wednesday, July 18, the 199th day of 2007 with 166 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1811; actor Chill Wills in 1903; playwright Clifford Odets in 1906; composer, arranger, pianist Lou Busch (a.k.a. Joe "Fingers" Carr) in 1910; actor Hume Cronyn in 1911; comedian Red Skelton in 1913; actress/singer Harriet Hilliard Nelson in 1909; South African black leader Nelson Mandela in 1918 (age 89); astronaut-turned-Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, in 1921 (age 86); journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson in 1937; pop singer Dion Di Mucci in 1939 (age 68); actor James Brolin in 1940 (age 67); singer Martha Reeves in 1941 (age 66); publisher Steve Forbes in 1947 (age 60); country singer Ricky Skaggs in 1954 (age 53), and actress Elizabeth McGovern in 1961 (age 46).

On this date in history:


In 64, fire destroyed nearly two-thirds of Rome.

In 1925, seven months after he was released from jail, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his personal manifesto, "Mein Kampf."

In 1939, MGM had a sneak preview of "The Wizard of Oz" after which producers debated about removing one of the songs because it seemed to slow things down. They finally decided to leave it in. The song: "Over the Rainbow."

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.

In 1977, Vietnam was admitted to the United Nations.

In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people.

In 1991, the first Ibero-American Summit Conference opened in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Also in 1991, the Yugoslav federal presidency began withdrawing troops from Slovenia.

In 1992, youths rampaged for a second night in southwest England following the deaths of two young men on a stolen police motorcycle.

In 1994, a car bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killed some 100 people in or near a building that housed Jewish organizations.

In 2003, British scientist David Kelly, a government adviser and former weapons inspector in Iraq, was found dead, an apparent suicide.


In 2004, the Philippines pulled its troops from Iraq, meeting a demand by kidnappers holding a Filipino hostage.

In 2005, Eric Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms for a 1998 bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala. He also faced later sentencing in Atlanta for bombings at the 1996 Olympics and two other sites.

In 2006, with the monthly death rate rising sharply in Iraq, a U.N. report said more than 3,000 Iraqi civilians died violently during June, more than 100 a day, most since the '03 fall of Baghdad. The report estimated more than 14,000 Iraqi civilians had died violently during the first half of 2006.

A thought for the day: Federico Fellini said, "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."

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