The almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 16, 2008 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, Aug. 16, the 229th day of 2008 with 137 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include the French physicist Gabriel Lippman, inventor of color photography, in 1845; Amos Alonzo Stagg, basketball, football hall of fame coach in 1862; labor leader George Meany in 1894; former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1913; actors Fess Parker in 1924 (age 84), Ann Blyth in 1928 (age 80) and Robert Culp in 1930 (age 78); football star and sports commentator Frank Gifford, also in 1930 (age 78), TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford (wife of Frank Gifford), in 1953 (age 55); singer Eydie Gorme in 1931 (age 76); actresses Julie Newmar in 1933 (age 75) and Lesley Ann Warren in 1946 (age 62); actor Reginald VelJohnson in 1952 (age 56); director James Cameron ("Titanic") in 1954 (age 54); actor Jeff Perry in 1955 (age 53); actress Angela Bassett and singer Madonna, both in 1958 (age 50); and actors Laura Innes in 1959 (age 49) and Timothy Hutton in 1960 (age 48).

On this date in history:

In 1812, British forces foiled plans for a U.S. invasion of Canada by capturing the city of Detroit.

In 1896, the North Country gold rush began with the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory.

In 1939, New York's famous vaudeville house, the Hippodrome, closed after 34 years.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York of cancer at age 53.

In 1977, Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll, died of heart failure at his home in Memphis at age 42.

In 1987, a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Phoenix crashed on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 people. A 4-year-old girl was the sole survivor.

In 1990, U.S. naval forces were ordered to prevent ships from reaching or leaving the ports of Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

In 2004, as many as seven helicopters were pressed into service to rescue hundreds of flood victims stranded on roof and car tops near Cornwall, England. Rescue workers called the situation "horrendous."

In 2005, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit northern Japan triggering a tsunami alert along the Pacific coast.

In 2006, authorities in Bangkok, Thailand, arrested American John Mark Karr for the widely publicized 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, a 6-year-old beauty queen from Boulder, Colo. Karr publicly confessed but said it was an accident. He was later cleared of any involvement.

Also in 2006, flooding in Ethiopia, which already had killed hundreds and stranded thousands, spread across the country as more rivers burst through their banks.

In 2007, Jose Padilla, accused of plotting to explode a dirty bomb in the United States, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to commit terror and giving material support to al-Qaida.

A thought for the day: Nicholas Murray Butler said, "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."

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