The almanac

By United Press International  |  Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Thursday, Aug. 16, the 229th day of 2012 with 137 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 French physicist Gabriel Lippmann, inventor of color photography, in 1845; Amos Alonzo Stagg, pioneer basketball, football hall of fame coach, in 1862; British soldier and writer T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") in 1888; labor leader George Meany in 1894; former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Menachem Begin in 1913; actors Fess Parker in 1924, Ann Blyth in 1928 (age 84) and Robert Culp in 1930; singer Eydie Gorme in 1928 (age 84); football star and sports commentator Frank Gifford, also in 1930 (age 82), TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford in 1953 (age 59); actors Julie Newmar in 1933 (age 79), Lesley Ann Warren in 1946 (age 66) and Reginald VelJohnson in 1952 (age 60); film director James Cameron ("Titanic," "Avatar") in 1954 (age 58); actor Jeff Perry in 1955 (age 57); actor Angela Bassett and singer Madonna, both in 1958 (age 54); and actors Laura Innes in 1957 (age 55), Timothy Hutton in 1960 (age 52) and Steve Carell in 1962 (age 50); and Dixie Chicks singer Emily Robison in 1972 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1812, British forces foiled plans for a U.S. invasion of Canada by capturing the city of Detroit.

In 1896, the North Country gold rush began with the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory.

In 1939, New York's famous vaudeville house, the Hippodrome, closed after 34 years.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York of cancer at age 53.

In 1954, the first edition of Sports Illustrated was published.

In 1977, Elvis Presley, the king of rock 'n' roll, died of heart failure at his home in Memphis at age 42.

In 1987, a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Phoenix crashed on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing 156 people. A 4-year-old girl was the sole survivor.

In 1990, U.S. naval forces were ordered to prevent ships from reaching or leaving the ports of Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

In 2004, helicopters were pressed into service to rescue hundreds of flood victims stranded on roof and car tops near Cornwall, England. Rescue workers called the situation "horrendous."

In 2006, flooding in Ethiopia, which killed hundreds and stranded thousands, spread across the country as more rivers burst through their banks.

n 2007, Jose Padilla, accused of plotting to explode a "dirty" bomb in the United States, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to commit terror and giving material support to al-Qaida.

In 2008, military officials said at least 33 people, including eight civilians, died in a coalition airstrike in southern Afghanistan. The civilians reportedly were being held hostage at a military compound.

And in 2008 sports, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his record eighth gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games at Beijing.

In 2009, John Yettaw, a Missouri man convicted in Myanmar of illegally visiting political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, serving a lengthy house-arrest sentence, was allowed to leave the country.

In 2010, BP said it would provide $52 million for mental health services on the U.S. Gulf Coast where experts say the mammoth oil spill caused widespread mental illness.

Also in 2010, off-road derby supporters and opponents criticized a lack of safety precautions after a crash during a 200-mile nighttime race in California's Mojave Desert killed eight spectators in a crowd ringing the raceway.

In 2011, the U.N. refugee agency said the famine situation in Somalia remained bleak with deaths occurring at alarming levels among refugees reaching Ethiopia. Officials reported an average of 10 children had been dying daily.

A thought for the day: Nicholas Murray Butler said, "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."

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