The Almanac, Celebrity Birthdays, Today in History, July 23 –

Today is Monday, July 23, the 205th day of 2012 with 161 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include detective novelist Raymond Chandler in 1888; Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in 1892; British actor Michael Wilding in 1912; Broadway restaurateur Vincent Sardi Jr. in 1915; baseball Hall of Fame member Pee Wee Reese in 1918; actor Gloria DeHaven in 1925 (age 87); baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (age 76), both in 1936; actor Ronny Cox in 1938 (age 74); talk show host Don Imus in 1940 (age 72); British musician David Essex in 1947 (age 65); and actors Edie McClurg in 1951 (age 61), Woody Harrelson in 1961 (age 51), Eriq La Salle in 1962 (age 50) and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 1967 (age 45); Dutch film director Theo van Gogh in 1957; former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1973 (age 39); singer Alison Krauss in 1971 (age 41); and British actor Daniel Radcliffe in 1989 (age 23).

On this day in history:

In 1829, William Burt of Mount Vernon, Mich., patented the “typographer,” believed to be the first typewriter.

In 1948, legendary pioneer movie director D.W. Griffith, maker of several silent classics including “The Birth of a Nation,” died at the age of 73.

In 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured.

In 1973, Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox served subpoenas on the White House after U.S. President Richard Nixon refused to turn over requested tapes and documents.

In 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a helicopter disabled by special effects explosives crashed on the movie set of “The Twilight Zone.”

In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush nominated federal appeals Judge David Souter of New Hampshire to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.

In 1991, the Soviet government applied for full membership to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank after the Group of Seven recommended a limited “special association” for the Soviet Union.

In 1999, U.S. Air Force Col. Eileen Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle flight with the launch of Columbia on a 4-day mission.

Also in 1999, Morocco’s King Hassan II, an influential leader in the Arab world, died at age 70.

In 2002, a laser-guided bomb fired from an Israeli warplane hit the Gaza home of Sheik Salah Shehada, founder of the military wing of Hamas, killing him and 14 others and wounding more than 140.

Also in 2002, Pope John Paul II, though weakened by Parkinson’s disease, began an 11-day trip in Toronto where he attended a weeklong Roman Catholic festival.

In 2003, the Massachusetts attorney general said an investigation indicated nearly 1,000 cases of abuse by Roman Catholic priests and other church personnel in the Boston diocese over 60 years.

In 2004, the Iraqi army began patrolling its own country for the first time.

In 2005, three synchronized terrorist bombings struck Sharm el-Sheik, an Egyptian resort, killing at least 90 people and injuring 240.

In 2007, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made his first visit to the Middle East as special envoy for “the Quartet,” made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

Also in 2007, former Afghanistan King Zahir Shah, a monarch admired for his reforms who reigned for 40 years before being forced into exile in Italy and who returned in 2002, died at the age of 92.

In 2008, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was open to international talks on Tehran’s nuclear program but rejected any preconditions. Ahmadinejad said Iran wouldn’t allow anybody to compromise what he called the country’s inalienable nuclear right.

In 2009, after a 2-year federal investigation, 44 people, including three New Jersey mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis were arrested on charges of corruption and international money laundering.

In 2010, White House officials said the federal deficit would exceed $1.4 trillion in 2010 and 2011, a smaller deficit than forecast but meaning about 41 cents of every dollar in federal spending will be borrowed.

In 2011, a high-speed bullet train slammed into the rear of a stalled train during a storm in eastern China, killing a reported 40 people and injuring nearly 200 others. The stopped train had lost power after being struck by lightning.

Also in 2011, a NATO raid on an insurgents camp in a remote part of southeastern Afghanistan left 80 fighters dead, Afghan officials reported.

A thought for the day: author Stendhal (Henri Beyle) said, “Wit lasts no more than two centuries.”

The Almanac, Celebrity Birthdays, Today in History, July 23 –

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