The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 235th day of 2008 with 131 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 French composer Claude Debussy in 1862; Charles Jenkins, inventor of airplane brakes and the conical drinking cup, in 1867; writer, critic Dorothy Parker in 1893; heart surgeon Denton Cooley and science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, both in 1920 (age 88); French fashion designer Marc Bohan in 1926 (age 82); Gulf War hero and retired U.S. Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1934 (age 74); actresses Valerie Harper in 1940 (age 68) and Cindy Williams in 1947 (age 61); and singer/songwriter Tori Amos in 1963 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1851, the U.S.-built schooner America outran a fleet of Britain's finest ships around England's Isle of Wight in an international race that became known as America's Cup.


In 1881, American humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the National Red Cross.

In 1911, Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was recovered four months later.

In 1922, Michael Collins, a founder of the Irish Republican Army and a key figure in Ireland's independence movement, was assassinated by political opponents.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI arrived in Colombia, becoming the first pontiff to visit South America.

In 1986, Kerr-McGee Corp. agreed to pay the estate of nuclear industry worker Karen Silkwood more than $1 million, ending a 10-year legal battle waged by her family over her exposure to radioactive materials at the company's plant in Oklahoma.

In 1995, U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Ill, was convicted of having sex with an underage girl, leading to his resignation later in the year.

In 2003, a senior U.S. official said Iraqi security guards were suspected of helping the suicide bomber that hit the Baghdad U.N. compound earlier in the week, killing 22 and injuring about 100 others.

In 2004, two masked robbers stole Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and another painting from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. "The Scream" was stolen once before, 10 years earlier but was recovered within three months.


In 2005, the last Jewish settlers moved peacefully out of the Gaza Strip after carrying the Torah scrolls down the main street of Netzarim, last of 21 settlements to be evacuated.

Also in 2005, Iraq's constitution committee returned to the drawing board after submitting a draft document to the National Assembly and then withdrawing it. Many Sunni negotiators reportedly objected to the draft.

In 2006, the U.S. State Department began investigating Israel's reported use of U.S.-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon, said to be a violation of secret agreements with the United States.

Also in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to make the "morning-after" contraceptive pill known as Plan B available without a prescription to people 18 and older.

In 2007, as sectarian violence continued in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said political progress there had been "extremely disappointing."

Also in 2007, the Iraqi High Tribunal began the trial of 15 of former dictator Saddam Hussein's aides in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

A thought for the day: Adlai Stevenson said, "... shouting is not a substitute for thinking and reason is not the subversion but the salvation of freedom."


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