The almanac

By United Press International
Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 21, the 234th day of 2012 with 132 to follow.

The moon is waxing. 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 jazz great William "Count" Basie in 1904; mystery novelist Anthony Boucher in 1911; sports broadcasters Chris Schenkel in 1923 and Jack Buck in 1924; Britain's Princess Margaret in 1930; basketball Hall of Fame member Wilt Chamberlain in 1936; country/pop singer Kenny Rogers in 1938 (age 74); actors Melvin Van Peebles in 1932 and Clarence Williams III in 1939 (age 73); pop singer Jackie DeShannon in 1942 (age 70); film director Peter Weir in 1944 (age 68); actors Patty McCormack in 1945 (age 67) and Kim Cattrall in 1956 (age 56); rock musicians Glenn Hughes in 1951 (age 61) and Joe Strummer in 1952; former Ohio State football running back Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, in 1954 (age 58); American Online founder Steve Case in 1958 (age 54); actors Carrie-Anne Moss in 1967 (age 45), Alicia Witt in 1975 (age 37) and Hayden Panettiere in 1989 (age 23); Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt in 1986 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1831, slave Nat Turner launched a bloody slave insurrection in Southampton County, Va., leading to the deaths of 60 people. Turner, an educated minister who considered himself chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery, was hanged.

In 1935, Benny Goodman's nationally broadcast concert at Los Angeles' Palomar Theater was such a hit that it often has been referred to as the kickoff of the swing era.

In 1940, exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City on orders from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

In 1951, the United States ordered construction of the world's first atomic submarine, the Nautilus.

In 1959, Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state to the United States.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia to end its bid for independence from Moscow.

In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated as he stepped from a plane at the Manila airport.

In 1986, gas belching from a volcanic lake in the remote mountains of Cameroon killed more than 1,700 people and injured 500.


In 1991, a coup to oust Soviet President Gorbachev collapsed two days after it began.

In 1992, fugitive neo-Nazi leader Randall Weaver opened fire on U.S. marshals from inside his Idaho mountaintop home. His wife and teenage son and a deputy marshal died during the 11-day standoff.

In 1994, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon was elected president of Mexico.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush said that while no decision had been made whether to go to war against Iraq, he believed a "regime change" would be "in the best interest of the world."

In 2004, two French journalists were reported kidnapped by Islamic radicals who demanded France repeal its ban on Muslim headscarves in school. France refused.

In 2005, sectarian violence erupted in Northern Ireland with about 400 nationalists and loyalists rioting in Belfast. There were no serious injuries reported.

In 2006, deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein went on trial on a second mass murder journalists were reported kidnapped by Islamic radicals who demanded France repeal its ban on Muslim charge in Baghdad, this one involving the deaths of 148 men and boys in an alleged revenge attack. He already was being tried in relation to the deaths of thousands of Kurds.


In 2007, Hurricane Dean, a Category 5 storm with wind gusts of 200 mph, slammed into a relatively unpopulated area of the Yucatan Peninsula as the third-most powerful recorded Atlantic hurricane at landfall.

In 2009, confidence in U.S. President Barack Obama's leadership fell to less than 50 percent, partly because of healthcare reform worries, a Washington Post-ABC News poll indicated.

Also in 2009, Hawaii observed its 50th anniversary as a member of the United States.

And, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, assessing the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, in a mostly flu-free time of year, said there had been 522 reported deaths from confirmed cases of the illness and 7,963 people hospitalized.

In 2010, Chinese officials braced for more rain after floods destroyed 230 houses and forced the evacuation of 51,000 people along the swollen Yalu River which separates China and North Korea.

Also in 2010, engineers loaded fuel into Iran's first nuclear reactor to be operated by Russia on the Persian Gulf in southwestern Iran for the production of electricity.

In 2011, Libyan rebels stormed into Tripoli to seize control of Moammar Gadhafi's besieged country, with NATO support, and set up their own government at the end of a three-day battle.


A thought for the day: it was Ernie Pyle who said, "I write from the worm's-eye point of view."

Latest Headlines