The Almanac, Celebrity Birthdays, Today in History, July 18 –

Today is Thursday, July 18, the 199th day of 2013 with 166 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 Cancer. They include English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1811; actor Chill Wills in 1903; playwright Clifford Odets in 1906; actor/singer Harriet Hilliard Nelson in 1909; composer, arranger, pianist Lou Busch (aka Joe “Fingers” Carr) in 1910; actor Hume Cronyn in 1911; comedian Red Skelton in 1913; South African leader and Nobel Peace Price laureate Nelson Mandela in 1918 (age 95); astronaut-turned-Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, in 1921 (age 92); gold medal ice skater Dick Button (age 84) and singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, both in 1929; journalist/author Hunter S. Thompson in 1937; pop singer Dion DiMucci in 1939 (age 74); actor James Brolin and former baseball Manager Joe Torre, both in 1940 (age 73); singer Martha Reeves in 1941 (age 72); historian Joseph J. Ellis in 1943 (age 70); publisher Steve Forbes in 1947 (age 66); businessman Richard Branson (age 63) and Village People singer Glenn Hughes, both in 1950; country singer Ricky Skaggs in 1954 (age 59), and actors Elizabeth McGovern in 1961 (age 52), Vin Diesel in 1967 (age 46) and Kristen Bell in 1980 (age 33).

On this date in history:

In 1925, Adolf Hitler‘s “Mein Kampf” was published.

In 1939, after a sneak preview of “The Wizard of Oz,” producers debated about removing one of the songs because it seemed to slow things down. The song: “Over the Rainbow.”

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, Mass., killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.

In 1976, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to be awarded the score of a perfect 10 in gymnastics.

In 1977, Vietnam was admitted to the United Nations.

In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people.

In 1994, a car bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killed about 100 people in or near a building that housed Jewish organizations.

In 2005, Eric Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms for a 1998 bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala. He also faced later sentencing in Atlanta for bombings at the 1996 Olympics and two other sites.

In 2007, Michael Vick, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League, was indicted on federal charges related to an illegal dogfighting operation. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 months in prison.

In 2008, Israeli authorities confirmed they had arrested six people in an alleged al-Qaida plot to kill U.S. President George W. Bush during a visit to Israel.

In 2011, Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen took over as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, vowing to keep “relentlessly pressuring the enemy.” Allen replaced Army Gen. David Petraeus, who became director of the CIA.

In 2012, victims of a suicide bomb at Syria’s National Security Bureau included Defense Minister Daoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat (President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law), former Defense Minister Hassan Turkomani and NSB chief Hisham Ikhtiar.

A thought for the day: Federico Fellini said: “All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”

The Almanac, Celebrity Birthdays, Today in History, July 18 –

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