The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, Aug. 8, the 221st day of 2012 with 145 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 the United States' first professional architect, Charles Bulfinch in 1763; American black explorer Matthew Henson in 1866; Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in 1879; poet Sara Teasdale in 1884; author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ("The Yearling") in 1896; film music composer/conductor Victor Young in 1900; musician Benny Carter in 1907; Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1908; actor Sylvia Sidney in 1910; movie producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1919; aquatic actor Esther Williams in 1921 (age 91); actor Rory Calhoun in 1922; singers Mel Tillis in 1932 (age 80) and Joe Tex in 1933; actor Dustin Hoffman in 1937 (age 75); singer Connie Stevens in 1938 (age 74); actor Keith Carradine in 1949 (age 63); writer/journalist Randy Shilts in 1951; TV personality Deborah Norville in 1958 (age 54); rock musician The Edge (born David Evans) in 1961 (age 51); tennis star Roger Federer in 1981 (age 31); actors Peyton List in 1986 (age 26) and Katie Leung in 1987 (age 25); and Beatrice, Princess of York, in 1988 (age 24).


On this date in history:

In 1911, the newsreel became a standard feature at U.S. movie screenings when the French film company Pathe began releasing weekly black-and-white features to theaters.

In 1940, the German Luftwaffe began a series of daylight air raids on Britain.

In 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, two days after an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and seven days before Tokyo surrendered.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for president. He was elected in November, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace.

In 1974, facing expected impeachment over the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign. He left office the next day.

In 1988, the first night game at Chicago's Wrigley Field was played. The park was the last major league stadium to add lights for night baseball.

In 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein annexed Kuwait.

In 1991, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved membership applications from North and South Korea.

Also in 1991, British TV journalist John McCarthy was freed in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad, a Shiite Muslim faction, after being held since 1986.


In 2003, U.S. leaders of the Episcopal Church approved a landmark local option resolution on the issue of same-sex marriages, leaving it to local dioceses whether to bless unions of gay and lesbian couples. Church leaders earlier in the week approved their first openly gay bishop.

In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a major energy bill as oil and gas prices climbed to record levels. The measure sought to stimulate domestic production in traditional and alternative energy sources.

In 2007, U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on a charge of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer at a Minneapolis airport restroom.

Also in 2007, the first tornado recorded in the New York City borough of Brooklyn touched down and damaged houses.

In 2008, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., who ran for president in 2004 and dropped out of the 2008 race in January, admitted he had an affair in 2006 with a campaign worker.

Also in 2008, the China Summer Olympics Games opened in Beijing with a spectacular ceremony that introduced more than 10,000 athletes who competed in 302 medal events.

In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor, 55, was sworn in as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, succeeding the retired David Souter. She is the first Hispanic member of the high court and the third woman.


Also in 2009, a sightseeing helicopter with six people aboard collided with a small plane carrying three people over the Hudson River in New York, officials said. There were no survivors.

In 2010, Pakistan estimated 1,600 people were killed in monsoon-triggered flooding with hundreds missing. China's deadliest mudslides claimed more than 1,100 lives also with hundreds still missing, officials said.

Also in 2010, on a day when several suicide bombings struck Iraq, a car bomb exploded, spreading flames throughout a crowded market in Basra, killing at least 43 and injuring another 185.

In 2011, U.S., Canadian and European leaders called for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down while Saudi Arabian King Abdallah told Syria to "stop the killing machine" against anti-government protesters.

A thought for the day: Actress Julia Roberts said, "You can be true to the character all you want but you've got to go home with yourself."

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