The almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 7, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2012 with 146 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 Carl Ritter, the German co-founder of modern geographical science, in 1779; the World War I Dutch spy and courtesan known as Mata Hari (Margaret Gertrude Zelle) in 1876; actor Billie Burke in 1884; British archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey in 1903; American statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph J. Bunche in 1904; film director Nicholas Ray in 1911; comedian/producer Stan Freberg in 1926 (age 86); actor Carl Switzer (Alfalfa in the "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" movie comedies) in 1927; basepall pitcher Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game in the World Series, in 1929 (age 83); singer B.J. Thomas and humorist Garrison Keillor, both in 1942 (age 70); FBI Director Robert Mueller in 1944 (age 68); football Hall of Fame member and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page in 1945 (age 67); and actors John Glover in 1944 (age 68), Wayne Knight in 1955 (age 57); David Duchovny in 1960 (age 52) and Charlize Theron in 1975 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1782, the Order of the Purple Heart was established by Gen. George Washington to honor Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

In 1942, U.S. Marines launched America's first offensive in World War II, landing on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.

In 1959, the satellite Explorer 6 transmitted man's first view of the Earth from space.

In 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first wife of a president since the days of Grover Cleveland to give birth while in the White House. The infant, a boy, died two days later.

In 1998, bombs detonated within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassy buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people.

In 2001, Uribe Velez was sworn in as president of Colombia in ceremonies interrupted by rebel shelling that killed 15 and wounded 60.

In 2005, Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC News "World News Tonight," who said in April he had lung cancer, died at his New York home at age 67.

In 2006, the North Korean government announced 549 people had died in recent flooding and 295 were missing.

In 2007, Amnesty International charged that China appeared to be cracking down on its human rights activists and journalists and using detention without trial as a pretext for getting ready for the 2008 Olympics.

In 2007 sports, Barry Bonds hits his 756th major league home run, breaking the record set by Hank Aaron.

In 2008, a long-standing dispute between Russia and Georgia provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which sought independence, erupted into a full-blown war.

Also in 2008, leaders of the ruling Pakistan Government coalition launched impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf on charges of violating the constitution and misconduct.

In 2009, the U.S. government announced 247,000 jobs were lost during July. The figure represented the smallest monthly total since August 2008. U.S. unemployment dropped slightly, from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent.

Also in 2009, Typhoon Moracot struck Taiwan with more than 80 inches of rain, causing floods and mudslides and leaving more than 700 people reported dead or missing.

In 2010, the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing 10 members of a medical charity team -- six of them Americans -- in a remote Afghanistan forest.

Also in 2010, Moscow was cloaked in smog as smoke from wildfires burning in nearby forests and peat bogs blanketed the sweltering Russian capital. Officials said 52 people died in one of European Russia's worst wildfire outbreaks in decades.

In 2011, China, the biggest lender to the United States, issued a harsh rebuke to U.S. economic policy and debt management and "short-sighted political wrangling" that nearly put the nation in debt default.

Also in 2011, the Syrian government, continuing to ignore international condemnation, unleashed a second all-out assault within a week against another center of protests against President Bashar Assad's government.

A thought for the day: W.C. Fields said, "Anyone who hates children and dogs can't be all bad."

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