The almanac

By United Press International   |   Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2013 with 144 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 day are under the sign of Leo. They include English author and angler Izaak Walton in 1593; French architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant, designer of the District of Columbia, in 1754; pioneer Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget in 1896; violinist Zino Francescatti in 1902; English actor/playwright Robert Shaw in 1927; basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Cousy in 1928 (age 85); Australian tennis star Rod Laver in 1938 (age 75); comedian David Steinberg in 1942 (age 71); heavyweight boxer Ken Norton in 1943 (age 70); actors Sam Elliott in 1944 (age 69), Melanie Griffith in 1957 (age 56) and Amanda Bearse in 1958 (age 55); pop singer Whitney Houston in 1963; hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull in 1964 (age 49); football Hall of Fame member Deion Sanders in 1967 (age 46); and actors Gillian Anderson and Eric Bana, both in 1968 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 480 B.C., after one of history's most famous battles, Persian forces overran the heavily outnumbered Spartan defenders of the narrow pass at Thermopylae in Greece.

In 1854, "Walden" was published by Henry David Thoreau.

In 1936, American track star Jesse Owens won his fourth Olympic gold medal in Berlin.

In 1945, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were slain in Los Angeles by the followers of Charles Manson in the first of two nights of bizarre killings.

In 1974, U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation became effective at noon and Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as the nation's 38th chief executive.

In 1991, Vietnamese Prime Minister Do Muoi resigned. He was succeeded by Vo Van Kiet, who vowed to transform Vietnam into a market economy.

In 1996, a Florida jury ordered $750,000 be paid to lung cancer patient Gracy Carter, whose suit against the maker of Lucky Strikes was based on company memos indicating knowledge of tobacco's addictiveness when the company said otherwise in public.

In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush announced he would allow federal funding for limited stem cell research using human embryos.

In 2004, Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing, in which 168 people died.

In 2006, British authorities reported the arrest of 25 people believed involved in a major terrorist plot to blow up airplanes flying from Britain to the United States.

In 2007, U.S. investigators looking into a deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis said there was a possible design flaw and issued a national alert for other bridges. (A 2006 federal report had cited more than 70,000 U.S. bridges as structurally deficient.)

In 2009, Typhoon Morakot slammed into Taiwan, with more than 80 inches of rain triggering floods and massive mudslides. The death toll was at least 500 and thousands of homes were destroyed.

In 2011, the Obama administration announced the first fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks, expected to save U.S. businesses that operate and own the commercial vehicles about $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program.

In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service reported a $5.2 billion loss in the quarter ending June 30.

A thought for the day: Elvis Presley said, "I get lonesome right in the middle of a crowd."

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