The almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 23, 2010 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2010 with 130 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include economist Arnold Toynbee in 1852; poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters in 1868; radio pioneer William Eccles in 1875; Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, hero of Bataan, in World War II, in 1883; humorist Will Cuppy in 1884; cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller (creator of "Nancy") in 1905; dancer/actor/director Gene Kelly in 1912; bandleader/singer Bob Crosby in 1913; baseball Hall of fame member George Kell in 1922; actor Vera Miles in 1929 (age 81) and Barbara Eden in 1934 (age 76); political comedian Mark Russell in 1932 (age 78); football Hall of Fame member Sonny Jurgensen in 1934 (age 76); rock drummer Keith Moon of "The Who" in 1946; actor Shelley Long and singer/actor Rick Springfield both in 1949 (age 61); Jordan's Queen Noor in 1951 (age 59); actors Jay Mohr (age 40) and River Phoenix, both in 1970; and pro basketball star Kobe Bryant in 1978 (age 32).

On this date in history:

In 1305, Scottish patriot leader William Wallace executed for treason.

In 1926, silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino died, sending his fans into hysterical mourning.

In 1927, despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their innocence, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for murder.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact. Less than two years later, Germany launched a blitzkrieg attack on Russia.

In 1982, Beirut Christian leader Beshir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. He was assassinated less than one month later and was succeeded by his brother, Amin.

In 1991, Russian Republic President Boris Yeltsin pressured Soviet President Gorbachev into replacing his Cabinet in the wake of a failed coup.

In 1996, tobacco regulation, recommended by the FDA, was approved by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

In 1999, Berlin once again became the capital of Germany.

In 2003, a former priest who had been in the forefront of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church was strangled, apparently by a fellow inmate, at a Massachusetts prison.

In 2005, Venezuela's vice president reacted angrily to comments by U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson who suggested President Hugo Chavez be assassinated.

In 2006, Amnesty International accused Israel of war crimes for allegedly targeting civilians in its fight with Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

In 2007, flooding in the upper U.S. Midwest drove thousands of people from their homes. Hardest hit were Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Wildfires, meanwhile, raged out of control in California, Idaho and Montana.

Also in 2007, military authorities investigated the crash of a U.S. helicopter that apparently malfunctioned and crashed in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, killing 14 soldiers aboard.

In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., confirmed he chose U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate at the top of the Democratic Party ticket.

Also in 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed U.S. airstrikes for the deaths of 95 civilians.

In 2009, authorities in Athens, Greece, urged 20,000 people to evacuate as raging wildfires threatened a suburb of the capital city.

A thought for the day: Ogden Nash said, "Don't try to rewrite what the moving finger has writ and don't ever look over your shoulder."

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