The almanac

By United Press International  |  July 10, 2010 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, July 10, the 191st day of 2010 with 174 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Protestant theologian John Calvin in 1509; British judge William Blackstone in 1723; American painter James Whistler in 1834; brewer Adolphus Busch in 1839; inventor Nikola Tesla in 1856; French novelist Marcel Proust in 1871; black educator Mary McLeod Bethune in 1875; TV news anchor/commentator David Brinkley in 1920; social activist Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1921; boxer Jake LaMotta in 1921 (age 89); author Jean Kerr in 1922; actor Fred Gwynne in 1926; former New York City Mayor David Dinkins in 1927 (age 83); musician Ronnie James Dio in 1942; tennis star Arthur Ashe in 1943; actors Ron Glass in 1945 (age 65) and Sue Lyon in 1946 (age 64); folksinger Arlo Guthrie in 1947 (age 63); baseball Hall of Fame member Andre Dawson in 1954 (age 56); and actor Jessica Simpson in 1980 (age 30).

On this date in history:

In 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the United States as the 44th state.

In 1925, the so-called Monkey Trial, in which John Scopes was accused of teaching evolution in school, a violation of state law, began in Dayton, Tenn., featuring a classic confrontation between William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and fundamentalist hero, and legendary defense attorney Clarence Darrow.

In 1938, industrialist Howard Hughes and a crew of four flew around the world in 91 hours, setting a speed record.

In 1962, the pioneer telecommunications satellite Telstar began relaying TV pictures between the United States and Europe.

In 1985, two explosions sank the Rainbow Warrior, flagship of the Greenpeace environmental activist group, in Auckland, New Zealand, killing a ship's photographer and launching an international uproar. France later acknowledged responsibility.

Also in 1985, Coca-Cola, besieged by consumers dissatisfied with the new Coke introduced in April, dusted off the old formula and dubbed it "Coke Classic."

In 1989, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and countless other Warner Bros. cartoon characters and radio and TV comic creations, died from complications of heart disease. He was 81.

In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush lifted U.S. trade sanctions against South Africa, making it possible for the two nations to engage in trade.

Also in 1991, in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin was inaugurated as the first freely elected president of the Russian republic.

In 1992, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison for cocaine racketeering.

And in 1992, an Alaskan appeals court overturned the conviction of former Exxon Valdez Capt. Joseph Hazelwood in connection with the massive oil spill in Prince William Sound.

In 1999, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and five other African nations, all of which had troops in Congo, signed a cease-fire agreement in a bid to end that country's civil war.

Also in 1999, the U.S. team won the Women's World Cup in soccer, defeating China in the final on penalty kicks.

In 2002, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrials declined 282.59 points and the hard-hit Nasdaq index and Standard and Poor's 500 stock index fell to their lowest levels since 1997.

In 2003, North Korea's chief delegate called on South Korea to forge a united front against the United States, which he said was "seeking to start a war of aggression against the Korean nation."

In 2004, a report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said the United States wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq if the weakness of pre-war intelligence revealed by the Senate had been known.

In 2006, 45 passengers and crew aboard a Pakistan International Airlines flight died in a fiery crash when the aircraft went down after takeoff in Multan after one engine failed and the wing hit a power cable.

In 2007, in a two-day battle that began on this date, ending a three-month standoff, Pakistani government, commandos stormed Islamabad's Red Mosque, which had been taken over by radical students. At least 100 people were reported killed in the final struggle.

In 2008, the U.S. Senate confirmed U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus as head of Central Command and Gen. Ray Odierno to Petraeus's former post in Iraq.

Also in 2008, a gallon of gasoline approached $10 a gallon in Oslo, Norway, highest in the world, an international research company reported. Paris, Copenhagen and Rome also were reported over the $9 mark with London a few cents behind.

In 2009, General Motors completed its race through bankruptcy with the signing of a contract with the U.S. government, which got 61 percent of the company. The recovery plan includes considerable shrinkage including the closing of factories and layoffs of 21,000 union workers.

Also in 2009, a weekly death toll hit a reported 1,400 at the Manik Farm prison camp in Sri Lanka holding Tamil refugees from the long battle between the government and the Tamil Tiger militants.

A thought for the day: French novelist Marcel Proust said, "Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind."

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