The Almanac

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Today is Sunday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2007 with 162 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 Austrian monk and pioneering botanist Gregor Johann Mendel in 1822; poet Emma Lazarus in 1849; U.S. political family matriarch Rose Kennedy in 1890; U.S. psychiatrist Karl Menninger in 1893; poet Stephen Vincent Benet and sculptor Alexander Calder, both in 1898; former U.S. Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., in 1923 (age 84); actor Orson Bean in 1928 (age 79); R&B singer Keith Sweat in 1961 (age 46); fashion designer Oscar De La Renta in 1932 (age 75); actor Terence Stamp in 1939 (age 68); "Jeopardy!" game show host Alex Trebek in 1940 (age 67); actor/singer Bobby Sherman in 1943 (age 64); comedian/actor Albert Brooks, actor Danny Glover and rock musician Don Henley, all in 1947 (age 60); composer Alan Menken in 1949 (age 58); actor Willem Dafoe in 1955 (age 52); and comedians John Leguizamo and David Spade, both in 1964 (age 43).


On this day in history:

In 1376, according to German legend, a piper -- having not been paid for ridding the town of Hamelin of its rats -- led the town's children away, never to be seen again.

In 1620, Dutch pilgrims started for America. Their ship -- called the "Speedhaven" -- set sail from Delfshaven, Holland.

In 1793, Alexander Mackenzie, the explorer of Canada, reached the Pacific.

In 1864, in the first battle of Atlanta, Confederate troops under Gen. John Hood were defeated by Union forces under Gen. William Sherman.

In 1916, a bomb hidden in a suitcase exploded during a Preparedness Day parade on San Francisco's Market Street, killing 10 people and wounding 40. The parade was in support of the United States' entrance into World War I.

In 1933, Wiley Post completed his first solo flight around the world. It took him 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

In 1934, bank robber John Dillinger died in a hail of bullets from federal agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.

In 1983, the military government of Poland lifted martial law.

In 1991, Milwaukee police arrested Jeffrey Dahmer as a suspect in the deaths of at least 15 people.


In 1992, Pablo Escobar, the boss of the Medellin cocaine cartel, and nine henchmen vanished from a Colombian prison. Many months later, Escobar was surrounded and shot dead.

In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the Pentagon to begin a major relief effort in Rwanda.

Also in 1994, a U.S. federal judge ordered The Citadel, a state-financed military college in Charleston, S.C., to open its doors to women.

And, at his arraignment, O.J. Simpson declared himself "100 percent not guilty" in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend.

In 1995, Susan Smith, the Union, S.C., mother who had confessed to drowning her two young sons by allowing her car to roll into a lake with the boys locked inside, was convicted of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1999, the ashes of John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife and her sister were buried at sea off the coast of Massachusetts. The three had died in a plane crash off Martha's Vineyard six days earlier.

Also in 1999, China outlawed the Falun Gong, or Buddhist Law, religious sect and began detaining thousands of its members.


In 2003, Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusai, were killed by U.S. forces in a fierce, six-hour firefight at a house in Mosul in northern Iraq.

Also in 2003, former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch returned to her West Virginia hometown to a hero's welcome.

And, at least 600 people were reported dead in a series of clashes in the Liberian civil war.

In 2004, the Sept. 11 commission recommended a radical overhaul of the way the nation's intelligence and counter-terror agencies were run and criticized Congress and two administrations for failing to stop the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In 2005, a suspected suicide bomber was shot to death by London police after he vaulted a security barrier and tried to board a subway train. It was discovered later that the man had no connection with the transit system bombings.

In 2006, Afghanistan was "close to anarchy" with Western military forces "running out of time," the head of NATO's international security force in that country said.

Also in 2006, China's death toll from Tropical Storm Bilis topped 500 -- more than double the original estimate.

A thought for the day: Mordecai Richler wrote, "The revolution eats its own. Capitalism re-creates itself."


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