The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Monday, Aug. 13, the 226th day of 2012 with 140 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 social reformer Lucy Stone in 1818; sharpshooter Annie Oakley in 1860; Scottish inventor John Baird, a pioneer in television technology, in 1888; actors Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz") in 1895, Regis Toomey in 1898 and Charles "Buddy" Rogers in 1904; film director Alfred Hitchcock in 1899; bandleader Skinnay Ennis in 1909; golf Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan in 1912; actor Neville Brand in 1920; Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1926 (age 86); actor Pat Harrington Jr. in 1929 (age 83); singer Don Ho in 1930; former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders in 1933 (age 79); opera singer Kathleen Battle in 1948 (age 64); hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Clarke in 1949 (age 63); pop singer Dan Fogelberg in 1951; actor/announcer Danny Bonaduce in 1959 (age 53); entrepreneur Kevin Plank (Under Arnour) in 1972 (age 40); and Olympic gold medal speed skater Shani Davis in 1982 (age 30).


On this date in history:

In 1889, William Gray patented the coin-operated telephone.

In 1930, Capt. Frank Hawkes set an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes.

In 1961, East Germany closed the Brandenburg Gate and prepared to start building the Berlin Wall.

In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter was nominated for a second term by the Democratic National Convention in New York but lost in November to Ronald Reagan.

In 1990, singer/songwriter Curtis Mayfield was left paralyzed when he was hit by a wind-blown lighting rig on an outdoor stage in New York. He died in 1999.

In 1993, Israel agreed for the first time to negotiate with a Palestinian delegation whose members belonged officially to the PLO.

In 1994, North Korea agreed to allow U.N. monitors to inspect a secret nuclear laboratory.

In 2004, Hurricane Charley slammed into Florida's West Coast with winds of 145 mph, striking Punta Gorda and offshore islands, causing around 30 deaths and destroying or damaging 16,000 homes. The storm earlier hit Jamaica and Cuba, killing seven.


In 2004 sports, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece, with a record 202 countries and 10,500 athletes taking part.

In 2005, U.S. troops in Mosul, Iraq, found a suspected chemical-weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals.

In 2006, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who spent his 80th birthday in a Havana hospital after surgery for gastro-intestinal bleeding, urged optimism but warned he might not recover. He promised Cubans he would "fight for it."

In 2008, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accepted the cease-fire to end the violent 5-day conflict with Russia. The move essentially ended Georgia's bid to reclaim South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two regions along the Russian border.

Also in 2008, the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party was shot to death in his Little Rock office. Bill Gwatney, a former state legislator, was shot three times by a single gunman. A suspect was caught after as high-speed chase.

In 2009, 43 people were killed when security forces in the Philippines clashed with al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants in southern Basilan province.

In 2010, a reported 380 million eggs were recalled by a major U.S. egg producer in Iowa after health officials linked the firm to an outbreak of salmonella. A second Iowa egg company recalled another 170 million eggs.


Also in 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Southwest Border Security Bill, described as a good first step toward comprehensive immigration reform, providing more agents and equipment along the U.S.-Mexican boundary.

In 2011, in an early, non-binding test of potential Republican presidential candidates, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the Iowa GOP straw poll, edging U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who did little straw poll campaigning, was seventh in a field of nine.

A thought for the day: Henry James reportedly said, "Summer afternoon -- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

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