Today is Wednesday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2007 with 138 to go.
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 Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769; Scottish novelist Walter Scott in 1771; longtime Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey in 1859; actress Ethel Barrymore in 1879; novelist Edna Ferber in 1885; British soldier and writer T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") in 1888; songwriter Charles Tobias ("Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree") in 1898; composer Ned Washington in 1901; bandleader Hugo Winterhalter in 1909; chef Julia Child in 1912 ; conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1924 (age 83); actor Mike Connors in 1925 (age 82); civil rights leader Vernon Jordan Jr. in 1935 (age 72); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in 1938 (age 69); journalist Linda Ellerbee in 1944 (age 63); songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1946 (age 61); Britain's Princess Anne in 1950 (age 57); and actors Debra Messing in 1968 (age 39) and Ben Affleck in 1972 (age 35).
On this date in history:
In 1914, a U.S. ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.
In 1947, India and Pakistan won their independence from Great Britain.
In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival opened on Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, N.Y., drawing an estimated 400,000 people for three days of music.
In 1985, South African President P.W. Botha, rejecting Western pleas to abolish apartheid, declared, "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."
In 1987, more than 13.5 inches of rain drenched the Chicago area, causing more than $100 million in damage.
In 1991, the United Nations allowed Iraq to sell up to $1.6 billion worth of oil to obtain money for food and medicine.
In 1993, Pope John Paul II conducted mass for up to 400,000 people at the World Youth Day festival south of Denver.
In 1995, the Justice Department agreed to pay $3.1 million to white separatist Randall Weaver, whose wife and teenage son were killed by FBI sharpshooters during a standoff at his Idaho cabin three years earlier.
In 1998, a bomb blast in Omagh, Northern Ireland, killed 28 people and injured more than 300 others. A 29th victim died a month later. It was the worst attack in 29 years of paramilitary violence in Ulster.
Also in 1998, Pakistan handed over to Kenya a suspect who reportedly confessed to involvement in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi eight days earlier.
In 2003, Libya admitted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives and agreed to pay reparations that reports say could total $2.7 billion.
In 2004, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anan called on Central Africa governments to curb militias in the border areas of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Uganda following the massacre of more than 150 Congolese refugees, mostly women and children, in Burundi.
Also in 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez survived a referendum to oust him.
In 2006, heavy fighting was reported between Sri Lankan government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern part of the island country.
Also in 2006, Britain sought swift extradition from Pakistan of the reported mastermind in the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners on flights to and from the United States.
A thought for the day: it was Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote, "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"