The almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 9, 2007 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2007 with 144 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 day are under the sign of Leo. They include English author and angler Izaak Walton in 1593; pioneer Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget in 1896; violinist Zino Francescatti in 1902; English actor/playwright Robert Shaw in 1927; Hall of Fame basketball player Bob Cousy in 1928 (age 79); Australian tennis star Rod Laver in 1938 (age 69); comedian David Steinberg in 1942 (age 65); actor Sam Elliot in 1944 (age 63); heavyweight boxer Ken Norton in 1945 (age 62); actresses Melanie Griffith in 1957 (age 50) and Amanda Bearse in 1958 (age 49); pop singer Whitney Houston in 1963 (age 44); and actress Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files") in 1968 (age 39).

On this date in history:

In 480 B.C., after one of history's most famous battles, Persian forces overran the heavily outnumbered Spartan defenders of the narrow pass at Thermopylae in Greece.

In 1936, American Jesse Owens won his fourth Olympic gold medal in Berlin.

In 1945, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were slain by the followers of Charles Manson in the first of two nights of bizarre killings.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation became effective at noon and Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the nation's 38th chief executive.

In 1991, Vietnamese Prime Minister Do Muoi resigned. He was succeeded by Vo Van Kiet, who vowed to transform Vietnam into a market economy.

In 1995, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki was observed in the Japanese city.

In 1996, a Florida jury ordered $750,000 be paid to lung cancer patient Gracy Carter, whose suit against the maker of Lucky Strikes was based on company memos indicating knowledge of tobacco's addictiveness when the company said otherwise in public.

Also in 1996, an ill-looking Boris Yeltsin attended a brief swearing-in ceremony for his new term as president of Russia.

In 1997, Elvis Week began in Memphis as fans commemorated the 20th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush announced he would allow federal funding for limited stem-cell research using human embryos.

In 2003, more than 150 candidates signed up to try to replace California Gov. Gray Davis if he lost his recall vote. Davis was voted out of office and replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-born Republican.

In 2004, Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for his role in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

In 2005, hundreds of Iraqi women staged a sit-in in a central Baghdad square to press for political rights in Iraq's new constitution.

In 2006, British authorities reported the arrest of 25 people believed involved in a major terrorist plot to blow up airplanes flying from Britain to the United States.

A thought for the day: Elvis Presley said, "I wouldn't be honest with you if I said I wasn't ashamed of some of the movies and the songs I've had to sing in them."

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