The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Saturday, July 19, the 201st day of 2008 with 165 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include American firearms inventor Samuel Colt in 1814; French painter Edgar Degas in 1834; accused ax murderer Lizzie Borden in 1860; Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, in 1865; author A.J. Cronin in 1896; former Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., in 1922 (age 86); former CIA agent-turned-author Philip Agee in 1935 (age 73); singer Vikki Carr in 1941 (age 67); former tennis star Ilie Nastase in 1946 (age 62); and actor Anthony Edwards in 1962 (age 46).


On this date in history:

In 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovered a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The Rosetta Stone, as it was called, held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a long dead written language.

In 1848, "bloomers," a radical departure in women's clothing, were introduced to the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. They were named after Amelia Jenks Bloomer.

In 1911, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to pass laws censoring movies.

In 1918, the end of World War I approached as the German army began retreating across the Marne River in France.

In 1946, Marilyn Monroe was given her first screen test at Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Even without sound, the test was enough to earn Monroe her first contract.

In 1969, John Fairfax of Britain arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to become the first person to row across the Atlantic alone.

In 1984, U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, D-N.Y., was chosen as Walter Mondale's vice presidential running mate at the Democratic National Convention. She was the first woman on a major ticket.

In 1989, a crippled DC-10 jetliner crash-landed in a cornfield in Sioux City, Iowa. Amazingly, 181 of the 293 people aboard survived.


In 1990, baseball record holder Pete Rose was sentenced to five months in prison for tax evasion.

In 1991, nine days of combat between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan soldiers left 78 soldiers and 600 rebels dead in the fiercest fighting since 1983.

In 1993, the Pentagon unveiled its "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy toward homosexuals in the U.S. military.

In 1996, the Summer Olympics opened in Atlanta with a record 197 nations taking part.

In 1997, the IRA declared a cease-fire in its long war to force Britain out of Northern Ireland.

Also in 1997, Liberia's first peaceful presidential election following a seven-year civil war was won by Charles Taylor, a rebel leader with a reputation for brutality.

In 1999, hot weather settled in over the eastern United States, lasting through the end of the month and causing at least 200 deaths -- 80 of them in Illinois.

In 2003, leading Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr announced plans in Iraq to form an independent "Islamic army" and denounced the Iraqi governing council as illegitimate.

In 2004, Sandy Berger, former national security adviser to former U.S. President Bill Clinton and campaign adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, admitted taking classified documents from the National Archives but said he did so inadvertently.


In 2005, U.S. Appeals Court Judge John Roberts was nominated by U.S. President George Bush to the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing the resigned Sandra Day O'Connor.

In 2006, U.S. President George Bush issued his first veto of a bill passed by Congress when he rejected a measure to end restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

Also in 2006, as the fighting intensified between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the United States began evacuating some of the approximately 25,000 Americans in Lebanon. The first load of 1,100 left by sea and air for Cyprus with thousands more scheduled the next few days.

In 2007, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 14,000 mark for the first time.

Also in 2007, rescue workers searched through the rubble of a partially collapsed seven-story building in India's financial capital Mumbai looking for more survivors. The death toll stood at 25 with dozens more reported still trapped beneath the debris.

A thought for the day: Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."

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