The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, Aug. 8, the 221st day of 2008 with 145 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include the United States' first professional architect, Charles Bulfinch in 1763; American black explorer Matthew Henson in 1866; Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in 1879; poet Sara Teasdale in 1884; author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ("The Yearling") in 1896; film music composer/conductor Victor Young ("Around The World in 80 Days") in 1900; musician Benny Carter in 1907; Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1908; actress Sylvia Sidney in 1910; movie producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1919 (age 88); actor Rory Calhoun in 1922; aquatic actress Esther Williams in 1922 (age 86); country singer Mel Tillis in 1932 (age 76); actor Dustin Hoffman in 1937 (age 71); singer Connie Stevens in 1938 (age 70); actor Keith Carradine in 1949 (age 59); writer/journalist Randy Shilts in 1951; TV personality Deborah Norville in 1958 (age 50); and Beatrice, Princess of York, in 1988 (age 20).


On this date in history:

In 1911, the newsreel became a standard feature at U.S. movie screenings when the French film company Pathe began releasing weekly black-and-white features to theaters.

In 1940, the German Luftwaffe began a series of daylight air raids on Britain.

In 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, two days after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and seven days before Tokyo surrendered.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for president. He was elected in November, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace.

In 1974, facing expected impeachment over the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to announce his resignation. He left office the next day.

In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved membership applications from North and South Korea.

Also in 1991, British TV journalist John McCarthy was freed in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad, a Shiite Muslim faction, after being held since 1986.

In 1995, the regime of Iraq's Saddam Hussein was shaken when his two eldest daughters, their husbands and other senior army officers defected.

In 2003, U.S. leaders of the Episcopal Church approved a landmark local option resolution on the issue of same-sex marriages, leaving it to local dioceses whether to bless unions of gay and lesbian couples. Church leaders earlier in the week approved their first openly gay bishop.


In 2005, U.S. President George Bush signed a major energy bill as oil and gas prices climbed to record levels. The measure sought to stimulate domestic production in traditional and alternative energy sources.

In 2006, Israel announced the evacuation of 15,000 civilians in the northernmost part of the country. About 250,000 had fled their homes because of the fighting with Hezbollah troops.

In 2007, Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on a charge of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer at a Minneapolis airport restroom.

Also in 2007, the first tornado recorded in the New York City borough of Brooklyn touched down, damaging some houses.

A thought for the day: Actress Julia Roberts said, "You can be true to the character all you want but you've got to go home with yourself."

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