The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Thursday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2013 with 152 to follow.

The moon is waning. 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 Leo. They include Roman Emperor Claudius I, born in 10 B.C.; French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, known for his theory of evolution, in 1744; explorer William Clark in 1770; Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," in 1779; lawyer and writer Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of "Two Years Before the Mast," in 1815; author Herman Melville ("Moby-Dick") in 1819; activist and labor organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones in 1837; tennis Hall of Fame member Jack Kramer in 1921; actors Arthur Hill in 1922 and Geoffrey Holder in 1930 (age 83); musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott in 1931 (age 82); comic actor Dom DeLuise in 1933; French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent in 1936; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead rock group, in 1942; basketball Hall of Fame member Roy Williams in 1950 (age 63); rapper Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., in 1963 (age 50); British film director Sam Mendes in 1965 (age 48); and actor Tempestt Bledsoe in 1973 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.

In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.

In 1876, Colorado became the 38th state in the United States.

In 1907, an Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps, and this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force bought its first airplane, a craft built by the Wright brothers.

In 1966, 16 people were killed in the University of Texas shootings at Austin by Charles Whitman before he was killed by police.

In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles.

In 1981, MTV premiered with the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."

In 1994, Lisa Marie Presley confirmed rumors that she had married pop star Michael Jackson May 26 in the Dominican Republic. The couple divorced less than two years later.

In 1995, Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced it was buying CBS, one day after Disney announced its purchase of Capital Cities/ABC.


In 2004, more than 400 people died in a supermarket fire on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay.

In 2005, Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, who had ruled since 1982, died in a Riyadh hospital after a long illness at the age of 83. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah.

In 2007, an eight-lane bridge across the Mississippi River at Minneapolis collapsed during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring about 150. About 50 vehicles were thrown into or near the water when the steel-and-concrete Interstate 35W span buckled and fell.

In 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a sweeping housing bill that gave the Treasury Department authority to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's two largest mortgage companies, and provide more help for homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

In 2009, thousands of gays, lesbians and supporters, about 5,000 of them in Melbourne, demanded the right to marry their partners in rallies across Australia.

In 2010, a worldwide ban on cluster bombs went into effect. Usually dropped from planes, cluster bombs are filled with smaller anti-personnel bombs, which are scattered over wide areas.

In 2011, when the U.S. House of Representatives approved the deficit reduction bill, one of the "yes" votes was cast by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., taking part in her first congressional business since she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in January in Tucson. She was greeted with a standing ovation.


In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he doubts international sanctions will be enough to deter Iran's nuclear program.

A thought for the day: in "An Enemy of the People," playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote, "A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."

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