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Today is Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2018 with 138 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Leo. They include French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1769; Scottish novelist Walter Scott in 1771; British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in 1875; actor Ethel Barrymore in 1879; chef Julia Child in 1912; conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1924; actor Mike Connors in 1925; actor Jim Dale in 1935 (age 83); civil rights leader Vernon Jordan Jr. in 1935 (age 83); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in 1938 (age 80); journalist Linda Ellerbee in 1944 (age 74); football Hall of Fame member/players' union leader Gene Upshaw in 1945; songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1946 (age 72); Britain's Princess Anne in 1950 (age 68); Swedish writer Stieg Larsson (the Millennium Trilogy) in 1954; chef Tom Colicchio in 1962 (age 56); actor Debra Messing in 1968 (age 50); actor Anthony Anderson in 1970 (age 48); actor Ben Affleck in 1972 (age 46); Olympic beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh Jennings in 1978 (age 40); actor Emily Kinney in 1985 (age 33); pop singer Joe Jonas in 1989 (age 29); actor Jennifer Lawrence in 1990 (age 28).

On this date in history:

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In 1914, a U.S. ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and pilot Wiley Post were killed when their plane crashed in Alaska.

In 1947, India gains independence from Britain after 200 years of rule. The Indian Independence Bill also grants independence to Pakistan, though that country observes its freedom one day earlier.

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In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, often described as a landmark counterculture event, opened on Max Yasgur's farm near Bethel, N.Y., drawing an estimated 400,000 people for three days of music.

In 1985, South African President P.W. Botha, rejecting Western pleas to abolish apartheid, declared, "I am not prepared to lead white South Africans and other minority groups on a road to abdication and suicide."

In 2003, Libya admitted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that claimed 270 lives and agreed to pay reparations totaling $2.7 billion.

In 2004, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez survived a referendum to oust him.

In 2007, an 8-magnitude earthquake struck 90 miles southeast of Lima, Peru, killing an estimated 500 people and injuring hundreds more.

In 2008, Nepal elected a Maoist candidate, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, to be its next prime minister, defeating a man who held the post three times.

In 2013, Egyptian authorities said the death toll had surpassed 600 in violence that began with a crackdown on protesting supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

In 2014, Pope Francis celebrated his first mass in South Korea. He spoke out against materialism and economic inequality during the "Mass of the Assumption of Mary."

In 2015, the North Korean government moved to its own time zone -- back 30 minutes -- going back to what it once was before the Japanese took control of the country more than a century ago.

In 2017, 11 people died when a tree fell and crushed onto a crowded square during a religious ceremony on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

A thought for the day: "Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart." -- Khalil Gibran