The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Thursday, Aug. 2, the 215th day of 2012 with 151 to follow.

The moon is full. Morning stars are Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Saturn and Mars.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include movie French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in 1834; executive Jack Warner in 1892; singer Helen Morgan in 1900; actors Myrna Loy in 1905 and Beatrice Straight in 1914; author James Baldwin and actor Carroll O'Connor, both in 1924; businessman and sports team owner Lamar Hunt in 1932; football Hall of Fame member Billy Cannon and musician Garth Hudson, both in 1937 (age 75); filmmaker Wes Craven in 1939 (age 73); Chilean writer Isabel Allende in 1942 (age 70); actors Peter O'Toole in 1932 (age 80), Joanna Cassidy in 1945 (age 67), Kathryn Harrold in 1950 (age 62), Victoria Jackson in 1959 (age 53), Mary Louise Parker in 1964 (age 48) and Edward Furlong in 1977 (age 35); author Caleb Carr in 1955 (age 57); and writer/director/actor Kevin Smith in 1970 (age 42).


On this date in history:

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, was signed by members of the Continental Congress.

In 1923, U.S. President Warren G. Harding, on a tour of Alaska and the West Coast, died of a stroke in a San Francisco hotel at the age of 58 as rumors of a potential corruption scandal swirled in Washington. He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

In 1934, with the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany under the title of fuehrer, or "leader."

In 1968, a major earthquake in the Philippines rocked Manila, killing 307 people.

In 1974, John Dean, counsel to U.S. President Richard Nixon, was sentenced to 1-to-4 years in prison for his part in the Watergate coverup.

In 1985, 135 people are killed in the crash of Delta Airlines L-1011 jet at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1988, U.S. military investigators concluded that crew errors led to the shooting down on July 3 of an Iranian passenger jet by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

In 1990, Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait after weeks of tension over disputed land and oil production quotas.


In 1999, in a magazine interview, U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton said her husband sought to protect her when he lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

In 2000, the Republican Party nominated George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to head its ticket for the November elections.

In 2001, former Bosnian Gen. Radislav Krstic was found guilty of genocide in the massacre of 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

In 2004, crude oil prices rose sharply after the terror alert in the United States was hiked over an al-Qaida threat, posting a record $43.92 a barrel before slipping back.

In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Central America Trade Agreement with six countries, granting greater access for U.S. products.

In 2007, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the political situation in Iraq "discouraging." He said the Bush administration had "underestimated the depth of mistrust" between the Sunni and Shiite religious blocs.

In 2008, General Motors reported a second quarter loss of $15.5 billion one week after Ford reported an $8.7 billion quarterly loss.

In 2009, riot police in Kuala Lumpur fired tear gas and water cannons at an estimated 10,000 demonstrators protesting a Malaysian security law that allowed imprisonment without trial, authorities said. Nearly 600 protesters were arrested.


In 2010, U.S. scientists estimated that the BP oil spill touched off by an April 20 explosion on an offshore rig leaked 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the world's largest oil spill of its kind.

In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the cliff-hanger legislation raising the United States' debt limit and reducing the federal deficit just in time to avoid the ominous shadow of default.

Also in 2011, U.S. auto companies Chrysler, Ford and General Motors reported sales rebounded in July but foreign giants Toyota and Honda were down.

A thought for the day: English philosopher Samuel Johnson said, "A man should keep his friendships in constant repair."

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