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Matthew Hedger
08/01/2014 9:35 AM

Today is Friday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2014 with 152 to follow.

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

In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.

In 1790, the first U.S. census showed a population of 3,929,214 people in 17 states.

In 1876, Colorado became the 38th state in the United States.

In 1907, an Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps (The first aircraft bought by this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force was built by the Wright brothers.)

In 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people, including his wife and mother, in Austin, Texas. Thirty-two people were wounded. Most of Whitman's victims were struck by shots fired from the University of Texas Tower. The gunman, a student and ex-Marine, was killed by a police officer.

In 1977, Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed in the crash of his weather helicopter in Los Angeles.

In 1981, MTV premiered with the Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star.

In 1994, Lisa Marie Presley confirmed rumors that she had married pop star Michael Jackson May 26 in the Dominican Republic. (The couple divorced less than two years later.)

In 2004, nearly 400 people died in a supermarket fire on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay.

In 2005, Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, who had ruled since 1982, died in a Riyadh hospital after a long illness at the age of 83. He was succeeded by his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah.

In 2007, an eight-lane bridge across the Mississippi River at Minneapolis, collapsed during the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring nearly 150. About 50 vehicles were thrown into or near the water when the steel-and-concrete Interstate 35W span buckled and fell.

In 2009, thousands of gays, lesbians and supporters, about 5,000 of them in Melbourne, demanded the right to marry their partners in rallies across Australia.

In 2010, a worldwide ban on cluster bombs went into effect. Cluster bombs, usually dropped from planes, are filled with smaller anti-personnel bombs, which are scattered over wide areas.

In 2011, when the U.S. House of Representatives approved the deficit reduction bill, one of the yes votes was cast by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., taking part in her first congressional business since she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in January in Tucson. She was greeted with a standing ovation.

In 2013, Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, who held Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus captive for many years, was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years. I am not a monster, I'm just sick, Castro told the court. (Just over a month later, Castro hanged himself with a bedsheet.)

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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