The almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, Aug. 6, the 219th day of 2012 with 147 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 English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1809; Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, and actor Leo Carrillo, all in 1881; movie cowboy star Hoot Gibson in 1892; basketball Hall of Fame member Henry Iba in 1904; comedian Lucille Ball in 1911; actor Robert Mitchum in 1917; British airline executive Freddie Laker in 1922; artist Andy Warhol in 1928; writer Piers Anthony in 1934 (age 78); actor Catherine Hicks in 1951 (age 61); basketball Hall of Fame member David Robinson in 1965 (age 47); film director M. Night Shyamalan in 1970 (age 42); and British singer Geri Halliwell in 1972 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1890, the first execution by electric chair was carried out. William Kemmler was put to death at Auburn Prison in New York for the ax murder of his girlfriend.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle of New York became the first American to swim the English Channel.

In 1940, Italy invaded British Somaliland, starting the Battle of North Africa in World War II.

In 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, after Nagasaki also was bombed, Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

In 1965, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. The measure barred states from conducting discriminatory voting practices

In 1978, Pope Paul VI died at the age of 80 after a heart attack. He had led the Roman Catholic Church for 15 years.

In 1986, William Schroeder died of a stroke in Louisville, Ky., after 620 days with the Jarvik-7 mechanical heart. He was the longest-living permanent artificial heart patient.

In 1990, the U.N. Security Council voted to impose worldwide economic and military embargo on Iraq as punishment for its invasion of Kuwait.


In 1993, Morihiro Hosokawa was elected prime minister of Japan.

In 1995, some 100,000 people attended a memorial service in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing that helped end World War II.

Also in 1995, police in Colombia captured Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the reputed co-leader of the Cali drug cartel.

In 1996, NASA announced the discovery of evidence of a primitive life form on Mars.

In 1997, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at an all-time high of 8,259.31.

In 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show."

In 2006, at least 200 people watching floods in Mardan, Pakistan, plunged into the water when the 30-foot-high bridge they were standing on was swept away.

In 2008, Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was convicted of providing material support for terrorism in the first military trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was acquitted, however, of the more serious charge of conspiracy. Hamdan was sentenced to 66 months in prison, of which he already has served 61 months.


Also in 2008, federal authorities accused former U.S. Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins of being solely responsible for the series of anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in the fall of 2001. Ivins apparently committed suicide when he was informed a murder indictment was being prepared against him, officials said.

In 2009, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court on a 68-31 vote.

Also in 2009, the Senate approved a $2 billion outlay to extend the "cash for clunkers" program that offered monetary incentives to car owners who replace existing vehicles with cars that have better fuel efficiency. The original phase was such a success it ran out of funding within a few days.

In 2010, the U.S. economy lost 131,000 jobs in July, more than expected but private payrolls rose, a government report said. The unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent.

In 2011, U.S. military forces were rocked with the deadliest day of the decade-long Afghan war when Taliban insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter killing 30 service personnel, including 22 members of the Navy SEALs unit that killed Osama bin Laden in May. The Pentagon said, however, none of these victims was involved in the bin Laden mission.


Also in 2011, five days of violent rioting broke out in London, spreading quickly to other parts of England, in protest to a fatal police shooting. Five people were reported killed in the rioting and more than 1,700 were arrested.

A thought for the day: it was Will Rogers who said, "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else."

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