The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2009 with 155 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include Grigori Rasputin, born in 1871; French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in 1805; novelist Booth Tarkington in 1869; Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1883; composer Sigmund Romberg (" Lover Come Back to Me," "When I Grow Too Old to Dream"), in 1887; actors William Powell in 1892 and Richard Egan in 1921; bluegrass star Henry D. "Homer" Haynes, member of the Homer and Jethro musical duo, in 1920; former U.S. Labor Secretary and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., in 1936 (age 73); TV anchorman Peter Jennings in 1938; actor David Warner in 1941 (age 67); documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in 1953 (age 56); country singer Martina McBride in 1966 (age 43); and actor Wil Wheaton ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") in 1972 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1588, off the coast of Gravelines, France, Spain's "Invincible Armada" was defeated by an English naval force under the command of Charles Howard and Francis Drake.


In 1848, at the height of the potato famine in Ireland, an abortive nationalist revolt against English rule was crushed by government police in Tipperary.

In 1900, Italian King Umberto I was shot to death by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian-born anarchist who resided in America before returning to his homeland to kill the king.

In 1914, the first transcontinental telephone linkup was completed between San Francisco and New York City.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI upheld the prohibition of all artificial means of birth control for Roman Catholics.

In 1981, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, married Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

In 1991, the Federal Reserve sought a $200 million penalty against bank BCCI for violating U.S. banking laws. It was the largest fine in the Federal Reserve's history.

In 1992, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and his law partner, Robert Altman, were indicted on charges of lying about their roles in the BCCI bank scandal.

In 1993, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also in 1993, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction and death sentence of retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk, accused of being a World War II Nazi death camp guard known as "Ivan the Terrible."


In 1994, the Senate approved the nomination of federal Judge Stephen Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1996, China conducted an underground atomic test, then declared a moratorium on such explosions.

In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton agreed to give videotaped testimony at the White House to be viewed by a federal grand jury investigating his alleged affair with former intern Monica Lewinsky.

In 1999, a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., fined U.S. President Bill Clinton $89,000 for lying about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

Also in 1999, a securities trader who suffered heavy losses killed nine people and wounded 11 others in Atlanta before taking his own life. Police later found the bodies of his wife and two children at his home.

In 2004, Pakistan announced the capture of a Tanzanian al-Qaida member sought by the United States in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2005, authorities said heavy rains and flooding in Mumbai and surrounding areas had killed 1,000 people.

In 2007, Pakistani officials warned that an estimated 600 students who disappeared after the crackdown on the Red Mosque may be planning suicide attacks in Islamabad.


In 2008, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven felony counts accusing him of failing to disclose gifts from an oil services company.

Also in 2008, the so-called Doha round of world trade talks collapsed in Geneva after seven years of intermittent negotiations due to an impasse between the United States, China and India over protection for farmers.

A thought for the day: Matthew Arnold said, "Conduct is three-quarters of our life and its largest concern."

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