The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Thursday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2013 with 131 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 French composer Claude Debussy in 1862; Charles Jenkins, inventor of airplane brakes and the conical drinking cup, in 1867; writer, critic Dorothy Parker in 1893; heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley and science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, both in 1920; actor Honor Blackman in 1925 (age 88); French fashion designer Marc Bohan in 1926 (age 87); retired U.S. Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1934; writer E. Annie Proulx in 1935 (age 78); baseball Hall of Fame members Carl Yastrzemski in 1939 (age 74) and Paul Molitor in 1956 (age 57); actors Valerie Harper in 1939 (age 74) and Cindy Williams in 1947 (age 66); swimming Hall of Fame member Diana Nyad in 1949 (age 64); singer/songwriter Tori Amos in 1963 (age 50); tennis Hall of Fame member Mats Wilander in 1964 (age 49); and actors Richard Armitage in 1971 (age 42) and Kristen Wiig in 1973 (age 40).


On this date in history:

In 1851, the U.S.-built schooner America outran a fleet of Britain's finest ships around England's Isle of Wight in an international race that became known as America's Cup.

In 1881, American humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the National Red Cross.

In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was recovered four months later.

In 1922, Michael Collins, a founder of the Irish Republican Army and a key figure in Ireland's independence movement, was assassinated by political opponents.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI arrived in Colombia, becoming the first pontiff to visit South America.

In 1986, Kerr-McGee Corp. agreed to pay the estate of nuclear industry worker Karen Silkwood more than $1 million, ending a 10-year legal battle waged by her family over her exposure to radioactive materials at the company's Oklahoma plant.

In 1995, U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Ill., was convicted of having sex with an underage girl, leading to his resignation later in the year.

In 2004, two masked robbers stole Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and another painting from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. It was found about two years later. "The Scream" was stolen once before, 10 years earlier, but was recovered within three months.


In 2005, the last Jewish settlers moved peacefully out of the Gaza Strip after carrying Torah scrolls down the main street of Netzarim, last of 21 settlements to be evacuated.

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to make the "morning-after" contraceptive pill known as Plan B available without a prescription to people 18 and older.

In 2010, in the wake of Australia's first parliamentary election in 70 years in which no party won a majority, the ruling Labor Party and Julia Gillard, the nation's first female prime minister, retained power and set about forming a new government.

In 2011, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington opened to the public on the anniversary of the civil rights leader's 1963 landmark "I Have a Dream" speech. The $120 million memorial, 25 years in the making, is on a 4-acre site on the National Mall.

In 2012, two women were electrocuted while trying to help the driver of an SUV that smashed into a fire hydrant and light pole in Los Angeles, causing a live wire to fall into water that spewed from the hydrant. Several people, also trying to help the driver, were injured in the electrified water. The driver escaped with minor injuries.


A thought for the day: "Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

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