The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Saturday, Aug. 17, the 229th day of 2013 with 136 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 Leo. They include French mathematician Pierre de Fermat in 1601; frontiersman Davy Crockett in 1786; movie producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1882; Jamaican black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey in 1887; actors Monty Woolley in 1888 and Mae West in 1893; Watergate figure W. Mark Felt, known as "Deep Throat," in 1913; actors Maureen O'Hara in 1920 (age 93) and Robert De Niro in 1943 (age 70); U.S. spy plane aviator Francis Gary Powers in 1929; British poet laureate Ted Hughes in 1930; Nobel literature laureate V.S. Naipaul in 1932 (age 81); pop singer Belinda Carlisle in 1958 (age 55); writer Jonathan Franzen and journalist Eric Schlosser, both in 1959 (age 54); actor Sean Penn in 1960 (age 53); former football coach and television commentator Jon Gruden in 1963 (age 50); and tennis Hall of Fame member Jim Courier in 1970 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1807, Robert Fulton began the first American steamboat trip between Albany, N.Y., and New York City.

In 1915, a hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing 275 people.

In 1961, the East German government began building the Berlin Wall.

In 1978, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by balloon, landing their helium-filled Double Eagle II near Paris.

In 1987, Rudolf Hess, Hitler's former deputy, was found strangled in Berlin's Spandau Prison. He was 93.

In 1992, U.S. filmmaker Woody Allen and Mia Farrow split after 12 years together. Allen said he was in love with the actress' adult daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

In 1996, the Reform Party nominated Texas businessman Ross Perot for president.

In 1998, addressing the American people, U.S. President Bill Clinton admitted he had a relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky that was "not appropriate."

In 1999, at least 16,000 people were killed and 20,000 more injured when a strong earthquake rocked Turkey.


In 2001, Ford Motor Co. announced it would dismiss up to 5,000 of its salaried employees -- 10 percent of its managers and engineers.

In 2006, a U.S. District Court judge in Detroit ruled that the National Security Agency wiretapping program was illegal. U.S. President George Bush ordered an appeal.

In 2008, Iran reported it had tested a new rocket capable of carrying a satellite into orbit.

In 2009, in what prosecutors called the largest identity theft in U.S. history, three suspects were charged with obtaining more than 130 million credit and debit numbers, with the data shipped to servers in California, Illinois and Europe.

In 2010, a federal court jury in Chicago convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, forced out of office on corruption charges, of making false statements to federal agents, one of 24 counts against him. Jurors were deadlocked on other charges including an accusation he tried to sell U.S. President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.

In 2012, a Moscow judge sentenced three members of the Russian feminist band Pussy Riot to two years in prison after finding them guilty of hooliganism.


A thought for the day: it was Alexander Woollcott who said, "All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening."

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