The almanac

By United Press International  |  July 20, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Saturday, July 20, the 201st day of 2013 with 164 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 Macedonian leader Alexander the Great in 356 B.C.; Austrian monk and pioneering botanist Gregor Johann Mendel in 1822; New Zealand explorer Edmund Hillary, who in 1953 reached the summit of Mount Everest, in 1919; Elliot Richardson, attorney general under U.S. President Richard Nixon, in 1920; actors Sally Ann Howes in 1930 (age 83) and Diana Rigg (age 75) and Natalie Wood, both in 1938; author Cormac McCarthy in 1933 (age 80); U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., the longest serving woman in U.S. Congress history, in 1936 (age 76); singer Kim Carnes in 1945 (age 68); guitarist Carlos Santana in 1947 (age 66), and actors Donna Dixon in 1957 (age 56), Sandra Oh in 1971 (age 42) and Omar Epps in 1973 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1859, American baseball fans were charged an admission fee for the first time. About 1,500 spectators each paid 50 cents to see Brooklyn play New York.

In 1881, five years after U.S. Army Gen. George A. Custer's defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered to the army, which promised amnesty for him and his followers.

In 1945, the U.S. flag was raised over Berlin as the first American troops moved in to take part in the post-World War II occupation.

In 1940, Billboard magazine published its first "Music Popularity Chart," topped by "I'll Never Smile Again" by the Tommy Dorsey orchestra with Frank Sinatra.

In 1951, while entering a mosque in the Jordanian sector of east Jerusalem, King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist.

In 1968, the first Special Olympics Games were contested at Soldier Field in Chicago.

In 1969, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon.

In 1976, the Viking 1 lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, became the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars.

In 1985, treasure hunter Mel Fisher located a Spanish galleon sunk by a 1622 hurricane off Key West, Fla. It contained $400 million worth of treasure.

In 1989, U.S. President George H.W. Bush called for the United States to organize a long-range space program to support an orbiting space station, a moon base and a manned mission to Mars.

In 1993, White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster was found shot to death in a park in northern Virginia. His death was ruled a suicide.

In 2005, the U.S. Justice Department activated its online National Sex Offender Public Registry, linking the registries of 22 states.

In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush received a kind reception and applause from the NAACP in his first address to the nation's oldest civil rights organization as president. He had turned down five previous invitations to speak.

In 2009, violent crime rates unexpectedly plunged in major cities across the United States, officials said. Washington. New York and Los Angeles led the pack, approaching 40-year homicide lows.

In 2011, International Tribunal officials announced the arrest of Goran Hadzic, the last Serbian leader wanted for war crimes.

In 2012, a gunman set off tear gas grenades and opened fire at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at a theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and wounding 58. The accused killer, James E. Holmes, later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

A thought for the day: In "Hamlet," Shakespeare wrote, "Brevity is the soul of wit." But it was Dorothy Parker who said, "Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

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