The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Aug. 12, the 225th day of 2012 with 141 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 laureate Robert Southey in 1774; American painter Abbott Thayer, credited with noting camouflage in the animal world, in 1849; businessman "Diamond Jim" Brady in 1856; educator and poet Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote "America the Beautiful," in 1859; mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart in 1876; Christy Mathewson, baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, in 1880; moviemaker Cecil B. DeMille in 1881; Mexican comic actor Cantinflas ("Around The World In 80 Days"), born Mario Moreno Reyes, in 1911; actors Jane Wyatt in 1910 and John Derek in 1926; country singers Porter Wagoner in 1927 and Buck Owens in 1929; billionaire and activist George Soros in 1930 (age 82); author William Goldman in 1931 (age 81); former national security adviser John Poindexter in 1936 (age 76); actor George Hamilton in 1939 (age 73); singer/songwriter Mark Knopfler in 1949 (age 63); guitarist Pat Metheny in 1954 (age 58); author Ann Martin ("The Babysitter's Club" series) in 1955 (age 57); tennis star Pete Sampras and comedian Michael Ian Black, both in 1971 (age 41); Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr in 1973 (age 39); and actor Casey Affleck in 1975 (age 37).


On this date in history:

In 1851, Isaac Singer was granted a patent for his sewing machine. He set up business in Boston with $40 in capital.

In 1898, a peace protocol was signed, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines and annexed Hawaii.

In 1966, as the Beatles were beginning their last tour, John Lennon apologized for saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

In 1981, IBM introduced first personal computer.

In 1984, the 23rd Olympic Games ended in Los Angeles with a record attendance of 5.5 million people despite a Soviet-led boycott.

In 1985, in aviation's worst single-plane disaster, 520 people died when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 slammed into a mountain in central Japan. Four passengers survived.

In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in his first television address since the Iran-Contra hearings, said he had been "stubborn" in pursuing a policy "that went astray."

In 1973, Jack Nicklaus won the PGA championship for his 14th major title, surpassing Bobby Jones' record of 13 majors. He won 18 major tournaments in his career.


In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed a free trade pact with Mexico and Canada, creating the world's largest free trade bloc.

In 1997, Hudson Foods, Inc., a meat processor in Rogers, Ark., announced it was recalling 20,000 pounds of beef due to possible contamination by the E.coli bacterium. The recall ultimately was expanded to 25 million pounds of beef.

In 1998, the two largest Swiss banks and representatives of Holocaust survivors and their heirs agreed on a settlement of claims against the banks.

In 2002, monsoons in Asia claimed more than 1,600 lives while floodwaters tore through central Europe and in southwestern Russia, killing 58.

In 2003, a U.N. report said Afghanistan re-emerged as the world's leading source for opium and heroin.

In 2004, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey announced his resignation after revealing a homosexual affair.

Also in 2004, the California Supreme Court invalidated more than 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued in San Francisco.

In 2007, papers once belonging to East Germany's Stasi security ministry allegedly offered key evidence the government ordered attempted defectors to be shot.

In 2008, minutes after Moscow announced an end to military operation in Georgia over breakaway region South Ossetia, Russian forces bombed the eastern Georgia town of Gori. Georgia leader Mikheil Saakashvili also said he would withdraw his troops.


Also in 2008, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced a settlement with 16 people who had been sexually abused by Catholic priests, agreeing to pay them a total of $12.7 million.

In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama bestowed Presidential Medal of Freedom awards to 16 activists, actors, athletes and others, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, actor Sidney Poitier and tennis great Billie Jean King.

In 2010, Iraq will need help with border defense for 10 years because its army won't be ready when U.S. troops leave at the end of 2011, American and Iraqi commanders say.

In 2011, U.S. scientists reported early success in a new treatment for leukemia.

Also in 2011, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was released from a hospital in Saudi Arabia after treatment for injuries suffered at home where protesters demanded he step down.

A thought for the day: Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, during the 1968 Democratic Party national convention, said: "The police aren't here to create disorder. The police are here to preserve disorder."


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