The almanac

By United Press International

Today is Friday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2013 with 123 to follow.

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


Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include English author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ("Frankenstein") in 1797; Louisiana Gov. Huey Long in 1893; journalist/author John Gunther and civil rights leader Roy Wilkins, both in 1901; actors Raymond Massey in 1896, Shirley Booth in 1898, Joan Blondell in 1906 and Fred MacMurray in 1908; baseball Hall of Fame member Ted Williams in 1918; country music singer Kitty Wells in 1919; businessman Warren Buffett in 1930 (age 83); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas) in 1935; actor Elizabeth Ashley in 1939 (age 74); French Olympic champion skier Jean-Claude Killy and cartoonist Robert Crumb, both in 1943 (age 70); newspaper columnist Molly Ivins in 1944; comedian Lewis Black in 1948 (age 65); basketball Hall of Fame member Robert Parish in 1953 (age 60); actors Peggy Lipton in 1946 (age 67), Timothy Bottoms in 1951 (age 62), Michael Chiklis in 1963 (age 50), Michael Michele in 1966 (age 47) and Cameron Diaz in 1972 (age 41); and tennis player Andy Roddick in 1982 (age 31).


On this date in history:

In 30 B.C., Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, committed suicide following the defeat of her forces by Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

In 1780, Gen. Benedict Arnold betrayed the United States when he promised secretly to surrender the fort at West Point to the British army. He fled to England and died in poverty.

In 1941, German forces began the 900-day siege of Leningrad. When it ended, the Russian city lay in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people had died.

In 1967, the nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court was confirmed. Marshall was the first African-American to sit on the court.

In 1983, Guion Bluford became the first black astronaut in space.

In 1994, the Lockheed and Martin Marietta corporations agreed to a merger that would create the largest U.S. defense contractor.

In 2003, more than 120 people, including prominent Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, were killed in a bombing attack on Iraq's Imam Ali Mosque.

In 2005, on the day after Hurricane Katrina struck, 80 percent of New Orleans was underwater. Electric, water, sewage, communication and transportation systems were out. Three-fourths of all houses were reported damaged or destroyed. Thousands were rescued, many plucked from rooftops and some sought shelter in the Superdome. In other areas along the Gulf of Mexico, Katrina flattened much of Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., flooded Mobile, Ala., and heavily damaged smaller towns in between. The Katrina death toll would top 1,800.


In 2008, thousands of residents of Mexico City, Tijuana and other cities in Mexico took to the streets to protest an epidemic of drug-related killings and kidnappings and the Mexican government's apparent inability to stop them.

In 2011, two senior U.S. Justice Department officials charged with overseeing the failed government gun-smuggling "sting" operation dubbed "Fast and Furious" were replaced amid bitter congressional criticism of the mission. The plan was to pass thousands of weapons to suspected Mexican gun smugglers and trace them to drug leaders, but hundreds of firearms were lost, some showing up at crime scenes, including the 2010 slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

In 2012, a judge sentenced former University of Virginia student George Huguely V to 23 years in prison for the murder of Yeardley Love, his former girlfriend. Both had been lacrosse players at the university.

A thought for the day: "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." -- John Lennon

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