The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Wednesday, July 3, the 184th day of 2013 with 181 to follow.

The moon is full. Morning stars are Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Venus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Welsh poet and writer William Henry Davies ("The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp") in 1871; actor, singer, composer George M. Cohan in 1878; Czech novelist Franz Kafka in 1883; actor George Sanders in 1906; journalist and columnist Dorothy Kilgallen in 1913; Jerry Gray, band leader, arranger for Glenn Miller, in 1915; English filmmaker Ken Russell in 1927; jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain in 1930 (age 83); English playwright Tom Stoppard in 1937 (age 76); singer Fontella Bass in 1940; Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek, also in 1940, (age 73); celebrity attorney Gloria Allred in 1941 (age 72); humorist Dave Barry and actor Betty Buckley both in 1947 (age 66); exiled Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in 1951 (age 62); talk show host Montel Williams in 1956 (age 57); pop singer Laura Branigan in 1957; actors Tom Cruise and Thomas Gibson, both in 1962 (age 51); and Yeardley Smith in 1964 (age 49); actor and singer Audra McDonald in 1970 (age 43); and champion Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel in 1987 (age 26).


On this date in history:

In 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded the Canadian town of Quebec.

In 1775, George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass.

In 1863, the Union army under the command of Gen. George Meade defeated Confederate forces commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pa.

In 1890, Idaho was admitted as the 43rd state in the United States.

In 1928, the first color television transmission was accomplished by John Logie Baird in London.

In 1971, rock star Jim Morrison, 27, was found dead of heart failure in a bathtub in Paris.

In 1976, Israeli commandos raided the airport at Entebbe, Uganda, rescuing 103 hostages held by Arab militants.

In 1986, Rudy Vallee, one of the nation's most popular singers in the 1920s and '30s, died at the age of 84.

In 1988, missiles fired from the USS Vincennes brought down an Iranian airliner in the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

In 1992, the U.S. Air Force joined an international airlift of food and medical supplies to besieged residents of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.


In 1996, Boris Yeltsin was re-elected president of Russia, defeating Gennadi Zyuganov in a runoff.

In 2008, after being held for nearly six years by Colombian rebels, 15 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, were freed by commandos who had infiltrated the rebels' leadership.

In 2009, Sarah Palin, who became a national figure as the Republican candidate for vice president in 2008, announced she was resigning as governor of Alaska with 17 months to go in her term.

In 2010, at least 230 people were killed in a blast sparked by a cigarette near an overturned oil tanker truck in the Republic of the Congo.

In 2011, Thailand was in line for its first female prime minister after Yingluck Shinawatra and her Pheu Thai party scored a rousing victory over the ruling party in the nation's first general election since 2007.

In 2012, actor Andy Griffith, most famous for his role as a wise, folksy sheriff in the long-running TV show that bore his name, died at his home in North Carolina. He was 86.

A thought for the day: Gustave Flaubert said, "Of all lies, art is the least untrue."


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