The Almanac

Aug. 5, 2007 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2007 with 148 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include French novelist Guy de Maupassant in 1850; poet and critic Conrad Aiken in 1889; film director John Huston in 1906; actor Robert Taylor in 1911; astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon in 1930 (age 77); John Saxon in 1935 (age 72); actress Loni Anderson in 1946 (age 61) and actor Jonathan Silverman in 1966 (age 41).

On this date in history:

In 1833, Chicago was incorporated as a village with a population of about 200.

In 1858, after several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.

In 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first federal income tax. A wartime measure, it was rescinded in 1872.

In 1957, Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began airing nationally.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 35.

In 1963, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty outlawing nuclear tests in the Earth's atmosphere, in space or under the sea.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted ordering the Watergate investigation halted six days after the break-in. Nixon said he expected to be impeached.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.

In 1990, the United States sent a Marine company into Monrovia, Liberia's capital, to evacuate U.S. citizens because of a rebel threat to arrest Americans to provoke foreign intervention in the civil war.

In 1991, the Democrats ordered inquiries into allegations that Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign team delayed release of the U.S. hostages in Iran until after the election.

Also in 1991, Iraq admitted it misled U.N. inspectors about secret biological weapons and also admitted extracting plutonium from fuel at a nuclear plant.

In 1994, opponents of Fidel Castro clashed with police in Havana as thousands of Cubans took to the high seas trying to reach the United States.

Also in 1994, U.S. fighter jets acting under NATO orders attacked Bosnian Serb positions after the Serbs seized weapons from a U.N depot. The weapons were returned.

In 1997, North Korea opened talks with the United States, China and South Korea aimed at negotiating a permanent treaty to replace the armistice agreed to after the Korean War.

In 1998, Iraq announced it would no longer cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and demanded the lifting of the U.N. sanctions imposed in 1991.

In 1999, the U.S. Senate confirmed Richard C. Holbrooke as ambassador to the United Nations.

In 2003, U.S. Episcopal officials approved election of their first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a move that threatened to create a schism within the church in the United States.

Also in 2003, a series of explosions rocked an international hotel in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing 14 people and injuring 150.

In 2004, twin Filipino boys joined at the top of their heads were listed in critical but stable condition after U.S. doctors surgically separated them.

Also in 2004, a former Enron executive pleaded guilty to helping manipulate the California energy markets during the state's energy crisis.

In 2005, North Korea's refusal to give up its nuclear programs bogged down multinational disarmament talks, now in their 11th day in Beijing.

In 2006, the United States and France agreed on a cease-fire proposal for Lebanon, ending a week of intense negotiations in the Israel-Hezbollah fight. Hezbollah initially opposed the proposal and Israeli ministers said they would study it.

Also in 2006, the Los Angeles Times said newly declassified Army files confirm U.S. atrocities in Vietnam were more extensive than reported with at least 320 alleged incidents.

A thought for the day: Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin reportedly said, "You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves."

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