The almanac

By United Press International
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Today is Sunday, Aug. 25, the 237th day of 2013 with 128 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Venus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include Czar Ivan IV ("Ivan the Terrible") of Russia, in 1530; author Bret Harte in 1836; Joshua Lionel Cowen, inventor of the electric toy train, in 1877; dancer/actor Ruby Keeler in 1910; "Pogo" cartoonist Walt Kelly in 1913; actors Michael Rennie in 1909, Van Johnson in 1916 and Mel Ferrer in 1917; composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1918; former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1919; Monty Hall, host of "Let's Make A Deal," in 1921 (age 92); tennis champion Althea Gibson in 1927; actor Sean Connery in 1930 (age 83); TV personality Regis Philbin in 1931 (age 82); actor Tom Skerritt in 1933 (age 80); writer Frederick Forsyth in 1938 (age 75); baseball Hall of Fame member Rollie Fingers in 1946 (age 67); writer Martin Amis, actor John Savage and rock singer Gene Simmons of Kiss, all in 1949 (age 64); singer/songwriter Elvis Costello in 1954 (age 59); film director Tim Burton in 1958 (age 55); country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and actor Ally Walker, both in 1961 (age 52); actors Blair Underwood and Joanne Whalley, both in 1964 (age 49); television cook Rachael Ray in 1968 (age 45); and supermodel Claudia Schiffer in 1970 (age 43).


On this date in history:

In 1609, Galileo Galilei exhibited his first telescope in Venice.

In 1718, the city of New Orleans was founded.

In 1875, Matthew Webb, a 27-year-old British merchant navy captain, became the first person known to successfully swim the English Channel.

In 1944, U.S. troops liberated Paris from the Nazis in World War II.

In 1967, a sniper assassinated American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell in Arlington, Va.

In 1985, Samantha Smith, 13, was killed with her father and six other people in a plane crash in Maine. Her 1983 letter to Soviet President Yuri Andropov about her fear of nuclear war earned her a visit to the Soviet Union.

In 1991, the Soviet republic of Byelorussia, now known as Belarus, declared independence.

In 1992, researchers reported that cigarette smoking significantly boosts the risk of developing cataracts, a leading cause of blindness.

In 1993, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in connection with a number of terrorist activities, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

In 1999, the FBI admitted it fired pyrotechnic tear-gas canisters at the Branch Davidian cult compound near Waco, Texas, on the day in 1993 that the standoff came to a fiery end but said the containers bounced away harmlessly.


In 2006, Pulkova Ailines Flight 612 crashed near the Russian border in Ukraine, killing 171 people.

In 2008, two Afghan army commanders were fired after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike killed 89 civilians, many of them children. Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed the casualties on a failure of coordination between coalition forces and the Afghan army.

In 2009, U.S. Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy, D-Mass., a liberal fixture in the Senate for 46 years, died of brain cancer at the age of 77.

In 2010, dozens of high school girls and teachers at a high school in Kabul, Afghanistan, were sickened by poison gas. Officials said the Taliban, who had been accused in eight similar attacks, sought to keep girls from going to school.

In 2011, Mexican gunmen stormed a Monterrey casino and set it on fire, killing at least 57 people, mostly women.

In 2012, former astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died in Cincinnati. He was 82.

A thought for the day: "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." -- Ronald Reagan


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