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The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, July 26, the 207th day of 2009 with 158 to follow.

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

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include artist George Catlin, painter of American Indian scenes, in 1796; playwright George Bernard Shaw in 1856; Carl Jung, founder of analytic psychology, in 1875; novelist Aldous Huxley in 1894; U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., who led the 1950-51 Senate investigation of organized crime, in 1903; comedian Gracie Allen in 1895; actress Vivian Vance in 1909; Erskine Hawkins, trumpet virtuoso, band leader, in 1914; actor Jason Robards in 1922 and movie producer Blake Edwards in 1922 (age 87); filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in 1928; storyteller Jean Shepherd in 1921; rock star Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones in 1943 (age 66); actress Helen Mirren in 1945 (age 64); tennis player Vitas Gerulaitis in 1954; and actors Kevin Spacey in 1959 (age 50) and Sandra Bullock in 1964 (age 45).


On this date in history:

In 1847, Liberia became a republic and Africa's first sovereign, black-ruled democratic nation.

In 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was born when a group of newly hired investigators were ordered to report to the Justice Department. It didn't become the FBI officially until 1935.

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In 1941, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines.

In 1956, Egypt created a crisis by nationalizing the British and French-owned Suez Canal.

In 1984, "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" became the first network television show to be broadcast in stereo.

In 1990, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 408-18 to reprimand Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., for actions he took on behalf of a male prostitute.

In 1992, under pressure, Iraq backed down and agreed to allow a U.N. inspection team to look for documentation on weapons of mass destruction.

Also in 1992, Motown singer/songwriter Mary Wells died of cancer at age 49.

In 1994, Congress opened hearings into the Whitewater affair, an Arkansas land deal involving U.S. President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton.

In 2004, an Egyptian diplomat held hostage by militants in Iraq for three days was released after successful negotiations.

In 2005, the United States roared back into space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral in the first launch since the 2003 Columbia tragedy.

In 2006, the Bush administration drafted a bill that would allow hearsay evidence to be used in terrorism trials unless it was found to be "unreliable."

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In 2007, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed anti-terrorism legislation that enhances screening of air and sea cargo and allocates more funds to states deemed at risk of attack.

In 2008, the U.S. Senate used a rare weekend session to pass a landmark housing bill meant to mitigate the ongoing mortgage crisis. The bill, which offered up to $300 billion in loan guarantees for consumers saddled with subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages and facing possible foreclosure, was approved earlier by the House of Representatives.

Also in 2008, bombs concealed in tea boxes rocked the second Indian city in two days, killing at least 29 people and injuring 88. Nine explosions in a similar attack the day earlier at Bangalore, the center of India's IT business, killed two and injured 29 others.


A thought for the day: Matthew Arnold wrote, "The free thinking of one age is the common sense of the next."

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