The almanac

By United Press International  |  July 15, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Monday, July 15, the 196th day of 2013 with 169 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn in 1606; poet Clement Clarke Moore, author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ("Twas the Night Before Christmas") in 1779; Roman Catholic nun Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first U.S. citizen to be made a saint, in 1850; British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst in 1858; lyricist Dorothy Fields in 1905; country singer Cowboy Copas in 1913; Irish author Iris Murdoch in 1919; writer Clive Cussler in 1931 (age 82); actor and former football star Alex Karras in 1935; actors Ken Kercheval, also in 1935 (age 78), Patrick Wayne in 1939 (age 74), Jan-Michael Vincent in 1944 (age 69) and Terry O'Quinn in 1952 (age 61); singer Linda Ronstadt in 1946 (age 67); political commentator Arianna Huffington in 1950 (age 63); former pro wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in 1951 (age 62); hockey coach and commentator Barry Melrose and rock musician Marky Ramone, both in 1956 (age 57); supermodel Kim Alexis in 1960 (age 53); and actors Willie Aames in 1960 (age 53); Lolita Davidovich and Forest Whitaker, both in 1961 (age 52), Brigitte Nielsen in 1963 (age 50), Brian Austin Green in 1973 (age 40) and Diane Kruger in 1976 (age 37).

On this date in history:

In 1799, the Rosetta Stone, which helped decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, was found in an Egyptian village by French soldiers.

In 1806, Zebulon Pike began an expedition to explore the American Southwest.

In 1912, led by all-round athlete Jim Thorpe, the U.S. team took more medals than any other country at the Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1945, Italy declared war on Japan, its former Axis partner.

In 1965, the unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passed over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet and sent the first close-up images of the planet to Earth.

In 1968, a Soviet Aeroflot jetliner landed at New York's JFK Airport, marking the beginning of direct commercial flights between the United States and the Soviet Union.

In 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon disclosed plans to make an unprecedented visit to the People's Republic of China. He made the historic trip in February 1972.

In 1986, Britain and the Soviet Union settled accounts on $75 million in bonds that were issued under Russia's czars and defaulted on after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The settlement ended a 60-year financial dispute.

In 1992, the Democratic National Convention nominated Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton as its candidate for president.

In 1997, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot to death in front of his Miami mansion. The prime suspect was Andrew Cunanan, already wanted in four other slayings who was found dead a week later, an apparent suicide.

In 2002, John Walker Lindh, a 21-year-old American captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan while with Taliban forces, admitted he had fought as a soldier with them. After cooperating in the investigation of the terrorist network, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In 2005, several California utilities said they settled claims against Enron Corp. for overcharges in the state's 2000-01 energy crisis, including a $47.3 million cash payment.

In 2006, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on North Korea in response to its launching of nuclear missiles. North Korea said it would continue its nuclear program.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese agreed to a $600 million settlement with 508 people who said they had been sexually abused by members of the clergy.

In 2009, Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran bound for Armenia. Officials said 168 people were killed.

In 2010, BP, the London energy company, announced it had capped its crippled underwater well that had sent millions of barrels of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico over the previous three months after an offshore drilling rig explosion and fire killed 11 workers and unleashed an unchecked torrent from the depths.

In 2012, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the drought affecting 61 percent of the country should have only a "marginal impact on food prices."

A thought for the day: Remy de Gourmont wrote: "Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art."

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