The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Sunday, Aug. 5, the 218th day of 2012 with 148 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 French novelist Guy de Maupassant in 1850; poet and critic Conrad Aiken in 1889; film director John Huston in 1906; actor Robert Taylor in 1911; astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, in 1930 (age 82); basketball Hall of Fame member Patrick Ewing in 1962 (age 50); actors John Saxon in 1936 (age 76), Loni Anderson in 1945 (age 67), Maureen McCormick in 1956 (age 56), Tawny Kitaen in 1961 (age 51) and Jonathan Silverman in 1966 (age 46).


On this date in history:

In 1833, Chicago was incorporated as a village with a population of about 200.

In 1858, after several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.

In 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first federal income tax. A wartime measure, it was rescinded in 1872.

In 1957, Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" began airing nationally.

In 1962, Nelson Mandela was jailed in South Africa.

Also in 1962, Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of barbiturates. She was 35.

In 1963, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty outlawing nuclear tests in the Earth's atmosphere, in space or under the sea.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted ordering the Watergate investigation halted six days after the break-in. Nixon said he expected to be impeached.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan began firing 11,359 air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work. The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months.

In 1991, Iraq admitted it misled U.N. inspectors about secret biological weapons and also admitted extracting plutonium from fuel at a nuclear plant.


In 1994, opponents of Fidel Castro clashed with police in Havana as thousands of Cubans took to the high seas trying to reach the United States.

Also in 1994, U.S. fighter jets acting under NATO orders attacked Bosnian Serb positions after the Serbs seized weapons from a U.N depot. The weapons were returned.

In 1997, North Korea opened talks with the United States, China and South Korea aimed at negotiating a permanent treaty to replace the armistice agreed to after the Korean War.

In 1998, Iraq announced it would no longer cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors and demanded the lifting of the U.N. sanctions imposed in 1991.

In 2003, U.S. Episcopal officials approved election of their first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a move that threatened to create a schism within the church in the United States.

Also in 2003, a series of explosions rocked an international hotel in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing 14 people and injuring 150.

In 2006, the United States and France agreed on a cease-fire proposal for Lebanon, ending a week of intense negotiations in the Israel-Hezbollah fight. Hezbollah initially opposed the proposal and Israeli ministers said they would study it.


In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law a bill to allow government eavesdropping of telephone conversations and e-mail of U.S. citizens and people overseas without a warrant if there's "reasonable belief" that one party isn't in the United States.

Also in 2007, at least 240 people were reported dead and millions more suffering from food and clean water shortages in monsoon flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Officials estimated 14 million people in India and 7 million in Bangladesh were in need of help.

In 2009, former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was convicted on 11 counts of conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering for allegedly helping U.S. firms arrange business deals in Africa.

Also in 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began a second term amid a national crisis sparked by the June election that was widely condemned as allegedly rigged and set off protests and mass arrests across the country.

In 2010, the U.S, Senate cleared the way for Solicitor General Elena Kagan to become the newest member of the Supreme Court when it voted 63-37 to confirm her nomination by President Barack Obama. She was sworn in two days later to succeed retiring John Stevens.


In 2011, credit agency Standard and Poor's lowered the United States' credit rating from the top grade of AAA to AA+ and dropped the nation from its risk-free borrowers. S&P blamed the "gulf between the political parties" for reduced confidence in U.S. ability to manage its finances.

Also in 2011, in a better-than expected report, the U.S. government said 117,000 jobs were added in July. Companies added 154,000 jobs and the federal government added 2,000 but local and state governments cut 39,000 positions. The unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, down from 9.2 in June.

And, the Thailand parliament overwhelmingly chose Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of a former prime minister, to be the nation's first female head of government.

A thought for the day: Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin reportedly said, "You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves."

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