Today is Sunday, July 8, the 190th day of 2012 with 176 to follow.
The moon is waning. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include German dirigible inventor Ferdinand von Zeppelin in 1838; French psychologist Alfred Binet in 1857; oil magnate John D. Rockefeller in 1839 and his grandson, former U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in 1908; band leader Louis Jordan, also in 1908; White House journalist Sarah Newcomb McClendon in 1910; drama critic Walter Kerr in 1913; jazz singer Billy Eckstine in 1914; TV executive Roone Arledge in 1931; singers Jerry Vale in 1932 (age 79) and Steve Lawrence in 1935 (age 77); actor Jeffrey Tambor in 1944 (age 68); ballet dancer Cynthia Gregory in 1946 (age 66); children's singer Raffi (Cavoukian) in 1948 (age 64); chef Wolfgang Puck in 1949 (age 63); football Hall of Fame member Jack Lambert and writer Anna Quindlen, both in 1952 (age 60); actors Kim Darby in 1947 (age 65), Anjelica Huston in 1951 (age 61), Kevin Bacon in 1958 (age 54) and Billy Crudup in 1968 (age 44); singer Beck in 1970 (age 42); and actor Jaden Smith in 1998 (age 14).
On this date in history:
In 1497, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon on a voyage that would lead to discovery of a sea route to India around the southern tip of Africa.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time, to people gathered at Philadelphia's Independence Square.
In 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked while being rung during the funeral of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in Philadelphia.
In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry, representing the U.S. government, sailed into Tokyo Bay to begin negotiations that led to the United States becoming the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with Japan in two centuries.
In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was first published.
In 1950, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur was designated commander of U.N. forces in Korea.
In 1969, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam began.
In 1991, Yugoslav leaders signed an accord calling for an internationally observed cease-fire in Slovenia and Croatia.
Also in 1991, Iraq admitted to the United Nations that it had produced enriched uranium but not enough to make nuclear weapons.
In 1994, North Korean President Kim Il Sung died at age 82. He had led the country since its founding in 1948.
In 1996, Turkey's first Islamic prime minister confirmed he wanted a less-Western-affiliated nation when he refused the United States permission to use a Turkish military base to bomb Iraq.
In 1997, NATO invited Eastern European nations the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to join the organization.
In 1998, four leaders of the Montana Freemen were convicted in federal court in Billings, Mont., of conspiring to defraud banks. The anti-government, anti-tax group gained fame in 1996 during an 81-day standoff at its ranch.
In 2003, North Korea said work had begun on nuclear weapons with enough plutonium on hand to build six bombs.
In 2004, a U.S. Marine reported to have been beheaded by Iraqi captors showed up alive and well at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, 24, was turned over to military authorities.
In 2005, Hurricane Dennis killed an estimated 57 people in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica.
In 2006, Atlantic City's 12 casinos reopened after being forced to shut down for three days, as were a number of New Jersey state offices, in a political dispute that virtually closed government over a proposed 1-cent raise in the sales tax. The state, which employs inspectors at the casinos, lost about $4 million in gambling taxes.
In 2008, the Czech Republic agreed to allow the United States to deploy on its land an antiballistic missile shield. Russia strongly objected to the accord and viewed the system as a threat.
Also in 2008, leaders of the world's richest nations agreed to cut by half by 2050 the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment. The group included the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.
In 2009, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, benefitting from a robust economy, was easily re-elected.
In 2010, a series of attacks on Shiite pilgrimage processions in Baghdad within a 24-hour span killed close to 100 pilgrims and wounded hundreds more.
Also in 2010, a French surgeon said he had performed the first successful transplant of a complete face, giving a 35-year-old disfigured man every feature, including tear ducts.
In 2011, the U.S. unemployment rate rose from 9.1 to 9.2 percent in June, the Labor Department announced, with 18,000 new non-farm payroll jobs added during the month. Economists had expected much better job growth.
Also in 2011, the Atlantis began the 135th and final mission of the U.S. space shuttle program that started in 1981, a 2-week voyage to the International Space Station with a cargo of supplies and spare parts.
And, in sports, the Ohio State University football team was heavily penalized for rules violations involving several players, resulting in forfeit of all of its 2010 wins, including the conference championship and the Sugar Bowl, and Coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign.
A thought for the day: "Business? That's very simple. It's other people's money," a remark from Alexandre Dumas.