The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Friday, July 27, the 209th day of 2012 with 157 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 Leo. They include French novelist Alexandre Dumas the Younger, author of "Camille," in 1824; baseball Hall of Fame member Leo Durocher in 1905; actor Keenan Wynn in 1916; bluegrass star Henry D. "Homer" Haynes, member of the Homer and Jethro musical duo, in 1920; television producer Norman Lear in 1922 (age 90); actors Jerry Van Dyke in 1931 (age 81) and Don Galloway in 1937; singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry in 1944 (age 68); figure skater Peggy Fleming and actor/director Betty Thomas, both in 1948 (age 64); singer Maureen McGovern in 1949 (age 63); and actors Maya Rudolph in 1972 (age 40) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 1977 (age 35).


On this date in history:

In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, architect of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, was overthrown and arrested by the National Convention. Robespierre who encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the revolution, was himself guillotined the following day.

In 1909, Orville Wright set a record by staying aloft in a plane for 1 hour, 12 minutes, 40 seconds.

In 1921, at the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin -- a hormone they believed could prevent diabetes -- for the first time.

In 1953, after two years and 17 days of truce negotiations, an end was declared to the war in Korea.

In 1980, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, deposed shah of Iran, died in an Egyptian military hospital of cancer at age 60.

In 1986, Greg LeMond, 25, of Sacramento, Calif., became the first American to win cycling's most famous contest, the Tour de France.

In 1989, a Korean Air DC-10 crashed in heavy fog while attempting to land at Tripoli airport in Libya, killing 82 people, four of them on the ground.

In 1995, the leaders of the three largest industrial labor unions in the United States -- the United Automobile Workers, the United Steel Workers of America and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers -- voted to merge by the year 2000.


In 1996, a bomb exploded at Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Games. One woman was killed and more than 100 people were injured.

In 2002, nine coal miners were trapped 240 feet underground in southwestern Pennsylvania when a wall collapsed, inundating them with water. A daring 3-day rescue operation saved them all.

Also in 2002, in one of the worst air show tragedies, 83 people were killed near Lviv, Ukraine, when a jet fighter crashed amid spectators.

In 2003, legendary comic Bob Hope died of pneumonia at his home in Toluca Lake, Calif., He was 100 years old.

In 2003 sports, Lance Armstrong became the second cyclist to win the Tour de France for a fifth consecutive year.

In 2004, a major U.S. Muslim charity and seven officers were charged with providing millions of dollars to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group blamed for dozens of suicide bombings in Israel.

In 2006 sports, American Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France cycling classic, tested positive for higher levels of testosterone than allowed.

In 2007, forensic experts exhumed remains of 131 Bosnian Muslims massacred by Bosnians Serbs and buried in a mass grave at Srebrenica in 1995.


In 2010, the U.S. Congress approved legislation providing another $60 billion to finance the wars in Iraq an Afghanistan.

Also in 2010, BP chief Tony Hayward, who bore the brunt of anger over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, will leave Oct. 1, replaced by Robert Dudley, the London company's first American chief executive officer.

In 2011, the majority of jobs created in the current economic recovery were lower-paying ones while higher-wage positions declined during the first quarter of 2011, a government report said.

Also in 2011, the U.S. Postal Service released a list of 3,700 post offices it was considering closing as the federal agency revamped the way it does business.

A thought for the day: Gustave Flaubert said, "We shouldn't maltreat our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands."

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