The World Almanac E-Newsletter

Volume 1, Number 8 - August 2001



What's in this issue?

August Events

Holidays - National and International

This Day in History - August

August Birthdays

Featured Location of the Month: Salt Lake City, Utah


Science in the News

Astronomical Events

Special Feature: Crowds in the Sky - Air Travel in 2001

Chronology - Events of July 2001

Offbeat News Stories

100 Years Ago in the World Almanac: Comparing the costs of a college education in 1901 vs. 2000/2001

Links of the Month

The new World Almanac websites



August Events
August 1 - St. John's Regatta, St. John's, Newfoundland
August 1-5 - Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine
August 2-5 - Women's British Open
August 3-5 - Twins Day Festival, Twinsburg, Ohio
August 3-12 - IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Edmonton, Alberta
August 6 - Peace Festival, Hiroshima, Japan
August 7 - National Night Out
August 9-13 - Perseid Meteor Showers
August 10-12 - Bluegrass Festival, Alta, Wyoming
August 10-16 - Elvis Week, Memphis, Tennessee
August 11-27 - Edinburgh International Book Festival, Scotland
August 13-19 - PGA Championship, Duluth, Georgia
August 17-25 - Little League Baseball World Series
August 20-26 - U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Atlanta, Georgia
August 27-September 9 - U.S. Open tennis tournament
August 29-September 9 - Goodwill Games, Queensland, Australia
August 31-September 3 - Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, Colorado


National Holidays
August 2 - Friendship Day
August 4 - Coast Guard Day
August 5 - Sisters' Day
August 19 - National Aviation Day
August 26 - Women's Equality Day


International Holidays
August 1 - National Day, Switzerland
August 6 - Picnic Day, Australia
August 15 - Independence Day, India


This Day in History - August


01    1944    Anne Frank makes the last entry in her diary; she and her family are discovered in their hiding place 3 days later and taken to concentration camps.

02    1923    Pres. Warren G. Harding dies after falling ill; he is succeeded by Vice Pres. Calvin Coolidge.

03    1914    In World War I, Germany and France declare war on each other.

04    1977    Pres. Jimmy Carter signs an act creating a new cabinet-level Energy Dept.

05    1962    Actress Marilyn Monroe dies in Los Angeles from an overdose of sleeping pills.

06    1945    The U.S. bomber Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb, on the Japanese port of Hiroshima; some 75,000 people are killed.

07    1947    Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl completes a 101-day journey across more than 4,000 miles of the Pacific on a balsa raft, the Kon-Tiki.

08    1972    Sen. Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern's Democratic running mate, is replaced on the ticket by Sargent Shriver following disclosure that Eagleton had undergone treatment for depression.

09    1974    Pres. Richard Nixon resigns, the first president ever to do so; Vice Pres. Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th president.

10    1993    Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as the 2d female Supreme Court justice.

11    1965    Rioting by blacks begins in the Los Angeles area of Watts; when it ends 5 days later, it leaves 34 dead and $200 million in property damage.

12    1985    In the worst single-plane disaster ever, a Japanese airliner crashes into Mount Ogura, killing 520.

13    1961    The East and West sectors of Berlin are divided by a barbed wire fence (the Berlin Wall), which is soon replaced by an actual concrete wall.

14    1945    Japan agrees to surrender, ending World War II.

15    1914    The Panama Canal opens.

16    1977    Elvis Presley dies in a Memphis hospital at the age of 42.

17    1807    Robert Fulton makes the first practical steamboat trip, leaving New York City on the Clermont; he reaches Albany in 32 hours.

18    1920    The 19th Amendment is ratified, giving women the vote.

19    1934    In a plebiscite, almost 90% of Germans vote to give Adolf Hitler the title of president in addition to chancellor, placing him in supreme command of the country.

20    1974    Pres. Gerald Ford nominates Nelson Rockefeller to be vice president.

21    1858    The Lincoln-Douglas debates begin in Illinois.

22    1911    Authorities announce in Paris that Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa has been stolen; it is recovered 2 years later in Italy

23    1927    Radicals Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for a 1920 Massachusetts holdup in which 2 were killed. (The controversial verdict against them was repudiated by a proclamation by MA Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1977).

24    79AD    Mt. Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, killing an estimated 16,000 people and destroying the cities of Pompeii, Stabiae, and Herculaneum.

25    1944    In World War II, Paris is liberated, and Charles de Gaulle leads a parade down the Champs Elysées.

26    1883    Krakatau (Krakatoa) erupts in Indonesia, causing huge tidal waves and killing some 36,000 people.

27    1776    In the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington loses the Battle of Long Island.

28    1963    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream" speech as some 200,000 people march on Washington in support of black demands for equal rights.

29    1889   The first U.S. professional tennis match is played, in Newport, RI.

30    1893    Frances Folsom Cleveland, wife of Pres. Grover Cleveland, becomes the first first lady to give birth in the White House, when daughter Esther is born.

31    1997     Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in an auto accident in Paris, along with her companion, Mohammed (Dodi) al-Fayed, and their driver.



August Birthdays


01    1963    Coolio, rap singer (Los Angeles, CA)

02    1932    Peter O'Toole, actor (Connemara, Ireland)

03    1941    Martha Stewart, homemaking adviser/entrepreneur/TV personality (Nutley, NJ)

04    1900    Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, mother of Queen Elizabeth II (Hertfordshire, England)

05    1930    Neil Armstrong, astronaut and first man to walk on the Moon (Wapakoneta, OH)

06    1965    David Robinson, basketball player (Key West, FL)

07    1960    David Duchovny, actor (New York, NY)

08    1923    Esther Williams, swimmer and actress (Los Angeles, CA)

09    1968    Gillian Anderson, actress (Chicago, IL)

10    1911    Jane Wyatt, actress (Campgaw, NJ)

11    1925    Mike Douglas, TV personality/singer (Chicago, IL)

12    1971    Pete Sampras, tennis champion (Washington, DC)

13    1926    Fidel Castro, Cuban president (Mayari, Oriente Province, Cuba)

14    1945    Steve Martin, comedian/actor/writer (Waco, TX)

15    1912    Julia Child, TV chef/cookbook author (Pasadena, CA)

16    1958    Madonna (Ciccone), singer/actress (Bay City, MI)

17    1920    Maureen O'Hara, actress (Dublin, Ireland)

18    1927    Rosalynn Carter, former first lady of the United States (Plains, GA)

19    1946    Bill Clinton, 42d president of the United States (Hope, AR)

20    1954    Al Roker, TV meteorologist (Brooklyn, NY)

21    1958    Steve Case, America Online executive (Honolulu, HI)

22    1935    E. Annie Proulx, novelist/short-story writer (Norwich, CT)

23    1978    Kobe Bryant, basketball player (Philadelphia, PA)

24    1960    Cal Ripken Jr., baseball player (Havre de Grace, MD)

25    1970    Claudia Schiffer, model (Rheinbach, Germany)

26    1935    Geraldine Ferraro, former NY representative and vice presidential nominee (Newburgh, NY)

27    1952    Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens), actor (Peekskill, NY)

28    1958    Scott Hamilton, Olympic champion figure skater (Toledo, OH)

29    1923    Sir Richard Attenborough, director/producer (Cambridge, England)

30    1918    Ted Williams, baseball player (San Diego, CA)

31    1945    Itzhak Perlman, violinist (Tel Aviv, Israel)



IT'S A FACT:    The world's most powerful hydro plant is located in Turukhansk, Russia and has a planned rated capacity of 20,000 Megawatts.



Featured Location of the Month:  Salt Lake City, Utah

Site of:    2002 Winter Olympic Games, February 8-24, 2002

Location:    Capital of Utah, and seat of Salt Lake County, on the Jordan River, near the Great Salt Lake, in the northern part of the state. The international headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is located within the city.

Population (2000 Census):    181,743

Mayor:    Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson

August Temperatures:    Normal high of 89.4 degrees; Normal low of 61.8 degrees

Colleges & Universities:    Salt Lake Community College; University of Utah; Westminster College

Events:    Lunch Bunch Music Series (through September 14); Twilight Concert Series (Thursday evenings); Middle East and International Dance Gala (August 4-5); Million Dollar Hole in One Golf Fundraiser (August 15-18); Celtic Festival (August 24); Downtown Music Festival (August 31-September 1)

Sports teams:    Utah Jazz (men's basketball); Utah Starzz (women's basketball)

Places to visit:    Mormon Tabernacle (1867), home of the noted Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Mormon Temple (1893); the Family History Library; the State Capitol (1915); the Beehive (1854) and Lion (1856) houses, former homes of the families of Brigham Young, the Mormon founder of the city; This Is The Place monument (commemorates the location where Brigham Young
entered the valley); Wheeler Historic Farm; Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum; Hansen Planetarium; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; Utah's Hogle Zoo; the Salt Lake Art Center; Symphony Hall, home of the Utah Symphony Orchestra; the Capital Theater, home of the Utah Opera Company and Ballet West; Park City ski resort; Snowbird ski resort; Wasatch-Cache National Forest; Brigham Canyon Copper Mine; Lagoon amusement and water park; Raging Waters water park

Tallest Building:    American Stores Center (24 stories)

History:    Searching for a "land that nobody wanted," Mormons entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake on July 24, 1847. Their leader, Brigham Young, declared "this is the place," and the pioneers began to cultivate the land. Young laid out the community in 10-acre plots around Temple Square, on which were later built the Temple and the Tabernacle. A constitution was drawn up (1849) for the state of Deseret, and Great Salt Lake City (the name was shortened to Salt Lake City in 1868) was made its capital. The population grew rapidly with the steady influx of Mormons, many coming from Europe. In 1851, the Utah Territory was created, and in 1856 Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the capital; it remained the capital when Utah became a U.S. state in 1896. The Mormons came into conflict with the U.S. government, and in 1858 federal troops established Camp Floyd near the city; U.S. Fort Douglas was built nearby in 1862. The city's economy was strengthened with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. Copper, lead, and silver mining boomed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Salt Lake City prospered and grew rapidly. Between 1900 and 1930, the city's population nearly tripled; increasing from 53,531 to 140,267. City parks were built, sewer systems and street lighting were installed, and streets were paved. The Great Depression brought construction to a
standstill, but the boom began again during World War II. Demands for metals in World War II brought new prosperity to Salt Lake City's mining industry. Industrial expansion continued after the war and the city's population reached 189,454 by 1960. The population dropped during the 1960s, mostly because of a trend toward suburban living. Salt Lake's downtown area expanded in the 1970s. Citywide beautification projects generated vitality and activity in the downtown community. The city continued to grow in the 1980s and 1990s; the economy got a boost in the '90s as software companies and other high-tech industries moved there.
Salt Lake City will host the Winter Olympic Games in February 2002.

Birthplace of:    Maude Adams (1872); Wilford Brimley (1934); Keene Curtis (1923); Roseanne (1952); Steve Young (1961)



Obituaries in June 2001


Lemmon, Jack, 76, screen legend and two-time Oscar winner; most memorable films include  “Some Like It Hot” (1959), “The Days of Wine and Roses” (1962), and “The Odd Couple” (1968); Los Angeles, CA, June 27, 2001.


Obituaries in July 2001


Callaway, Ely, 82, founder of the company that grew into the world's largest maker of golf clubs, most notably the Big Bertha driver; Rancho Santa Fe, CA, July 5, 2001.

Gebel-Williams, Gunther, 66, German-born animal trainer whose death-defying acts, particularly with big cats, thrilled millions of circus-goers; Venice, FL, July 19, 2001.

Graham, Katharine, 84, newspaper publisher who helped turn the Washington Post into one of the most influential papers in the U.S.; Boise, ID, July 17, 2001.

Richler, Mordecai, 70, Canadian author largely known for his sardonic fiction about Montreal's Jewish community and for his controversial essays ridiculing the Quebec separatist movement; Montreal, Canada, July 2, 2001.

Welty, Eudora, 92, short-story writer and novelist whose work, inspired by her native Mississippi, which she hardly ever left, artfully captured small-town life in the American South; Jackson, MS, July 23, 2001.



IT'S A FACT:    75% of France's energy generation is produced by nuclear power, more than any other country.





Fireflies and Viagra


By Peter Falcier

The long-standing mystery behind the firefly's mesmerizing flashes of light has been solved. "We knew about the chemistry that makes fireflies light up," says Tufts University insect eurobiologist Barry Trimmer, lead author of a report in the June 29, 2001, issue of Science. "But we now have the missing piece of the puzzle that explains how they are able to throw the switch on and off."  The switch that turns on the firefly's flash is a simple molecule of gas called nitric oxide, or NO. Not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N²O, also known as laughing gas), NO is known to play a role in many biological signaling pathways. In humans, the gas is a vital, versatile messenger between cells, which fights off harmful microbes, transmits brain signals crucial to learning and memory, controls the flow of blood and even mediates the male sexual response. In fact, nitric oxide is a key ingredient in the erectile-dysfunction wonder drug Viagra. Scientists from diverse fields anticipate that the NO finding in fireflies will lead to novel insights into human disease. "It is just fantastic," Carl Nathan, chairman of the microbiology and immunology department of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, told the Boston Globe. "This is a theme that is being recognized more and more in biomedical research: Things that work in humans also work not just in mice, but in insects and sometimes even plants."

Learning How Planets Are Formed

By Peter Falcier

New insight into planet formation outside our own solar system came from two sources, both announced at a semi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in June 2001. The first was a massive asteroid belt circling the star zeta Leporis, which resides in the constellation Lepus (the hare) about 70 light years from the Sun. "Zeta Leporis is a relatively young star--approximately the age of our Sun when the Earth was forming," said researcher Michael Jura of UCLA. "The system we observe around zeta Leporis is similar to what we think occurred in the early years of our own solar system when planets and asteroids were created." The high temperature of the dust in the asteroid belt (about 150 degrees F), lead astronomers to believe that larger, rocky asteroids may be present or currently forming by means of collisions between dust particles. Jura's graduate protégé, Christine Chen, added, "We want to know if the asteroids around this star are similar in composition to objects in our solar system, and if the processes we now see unfolding on zeta Leporis can help us understand how the planets in our own solar system formed."  


Another team of astronomers, from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Southwest Research Institute, using the Hubble Space telescope, spied baby planets struggling to form in the swirling gas and dust of the Orion nebula, a so-called "star nursery" 1,500 light-years from Earth. Their research may reveal just how haphazard planet formation is in the universe.  Small clumps of dust particles, which form the nucleus of new planets, are caught in a tug of war between their own gravity pulling them together and the gravity of the star pulling them apart. "Which one wins is really a big question. It's like trying to build a skyscraper in the middle of a tornado," researcher Henry Throop told the Washington Post.

Stem Cell Research Controversy

By Elizabeth Barden

The debate over stem cell research got hotter in July with the announcement that a private lab in Virginia has created human pre-embryos solely for the purpose of harvesting stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to turn into any cell in the body, and thus could potentially be used to treat many conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.  Scientists at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, the first lab to successfully impregnate a woman with an embryo created in vitro 20 years ago, collected 162 eggs from 12 women and sperm from two men, all of whom consented to having their germ cells used for research and not for reproduction. From these, 50 embryos were successfully created. The researchers destroyed 40 of them to retrieve stem cells from inside, and created three separate lines of stem cells from those. Previously, stem cells had been harvested mostly from discarded embryos from fertility procedures. President Bush is currently considering whether to ban federal funding for research on stem cells from discarded embryos.

In the midst of the stem cell debate come two announcements of successful treatments using stem cells. A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado implanted human stem cells into the brains of mice that had an inborn brain disease such as Tay-Sachs. The stem cells proliferated and corrected imbalances in various necessary brain chemicals, allowing the mice to recover. Another group of researchers, at Johns Hopkins University, used embryonic stem cells to largely cure 120 rats and mice of a viral condition similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Animals that couldn't walk regained control of their limbs. Such success holds promise for human treatments in the future using
stem cells. The question of where these protean cells will come from, however, remains open.

Astronomical Events

The Old Faithful of meteor showers, known as the Perseids, will reach their peak intensity August 12th. Spanning a period of several weeks, the shooting stars can best be seen after midnight on the morning of the 12th and the several mornings after



Special Feature:    Crowds in the Sky - Air Travel in 2001


By David Faris

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  Though that may be good news for students and sun-starved beach-lovers, it means trouble for airline passengers. About 4 million people board a passenger airplane on an average day, but that number is higher in the summer months, which translates into more delays, mishaps, cancellations, and frustrated passengers than at any other time of the year except major holidays.  Vacationers and backpacking college kids are finding out what regular travelers already know: while the number of passengers may be at an all-time high, so are complaints. For a volatile industry already beset with labor problems and financial difficulties, this is not good news.

A quick look at the statistics is sobering. Late departures, canceled flights, and late arrivals have been on a steady upswing since 1997. According to Newsweek, one in every four U.S. flights was canceled or delayed in 2000.  To achieve their growth of the mid-1990s and beyond, airlines squeezed more passengers onto planes and more flights into the schedule, and by and large failed to keep pace in the customer service department. The result has been an epidemic of customer complaints.

While airlines are in much better shape than they were a decade ago, when the air transport industry lost more than $4 billion in a single year, trouble is looming.  At midyear the only major U.S. airlines to report profits were Southwest and Continental. At the forefront of the industry’s problems in 2001 are labor woes. In the early 1990s, workers made concessions to the struggling airlines, accepting decreased wages and benefits for the good of the industry, and expected to be repaid once the recession ended. Wages have not, for the most part, kept up with industry profits over the last 6 years, and labor unions representing airline workers from mechanics to pilots to flight attendants have threatened and carried out strikes against some of the nation's largest carriers.

Airline delays -- estimated to occur on more than 30% of all flights at some of the nation's busiest airports -- are getting increased scrutiny from lawmakers.  But alleviating the problem is not simple.  Building new airports is incredibly difficult and expensive -- partly because local communities don’t want the inevitable noise and pollution anywhere near them. Even building a new runway at an existing airport can take years.  In addition, the existing air traffic control system is being taxed to its limits by the number of flights coming in and out of overused airports.  The industry has also had to deal with sharp rises in fuel costs.

The 1978 deregulation of U.S. airlines, while not without its critics, has succeeded in making flying affordable for the majority of Americans, something that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. Deregulation also had a number of unintended consequences over the years. Many airports began leasing most of their landing gates to specific airlines, meaning that certain airlines controlled a disproportionate share of the routes at certain airports, like U.S. Airways in Philadelphia, creating a number of de facto monopolies. Consumers and watchdog groups feel that airlines have taken advantage of the situation by hiking prices, slashing service on noncompetitive routes, and routing passengers far out of their way to "hub" airports to fill seats.

Short of the intergalactic transporters featured on Star Trek, no further revolutions in travel like those that made first horses and then passenger ships obsolete are on the horizon. Since the first scheduled commercial service began in 1914, air travel has steadily grown in popularity and safety.  Mile-for-mile, air travel is safer than trekking cross-country in the family car, and a lot faster. Despite its problems, air travel is unlikely to decline anytime soon.


IT'S A FACT:    There were only 2,000 World War I veterans receiving benefits in the U.S. in 2000, compared to 5 million veterans of the Second World War.


Chronology - Events of July 2001


            Pres. George W. Bush announced July 5 that he was nominating Robert S. Mueller III to succeed Louis Freeh as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Mueller, a lawyer and prosecutor, has held a number of positions in law enforcement, including U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California.

U.S.  Rep. Gary Condit (D, CA) came under scrutiny during July with reference to missing intern Chandra Levy.  During his third interview with police July 6, Condit had admitted to having an affair with Levy, according to published reports, and underwent a privately administered lie detector test that police considered inadequate. Police maintained Condit is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance.

Ex-FBI Agent Robert Hanssen, pleaded guilty July 6 to 15 counts of espionage, attempted espionage, and conspiracy.  Under a plea bargain, Hanssen will be spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.  Under the agreement, Hanssen’s wife will get his FBI pension.

 The push for a Campaign-Finance Bill, regulating soft money, died in the House of Representatives on July 12, after Speaker Dennis Hastert (R, IL) required that each amendment be voted on separately – creating the prospect that the bill’s supporters would have difficulty holding their shaky coalition together.  Supporters of the bill succeeded in defeating the rule, 228-203; however, Hastert declared that he had no plans to bring the bill up again.

The House of Representatives, July 31, voted to ban all cloning of human embryos, by a vote of 265-162.  The vote followed the rejection of an earlier amendment, 249-178, that would have allowed the limited creation of cloned embryos for research only.


            Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president, was arraigned on war-crimes charges for acts committed while in office on July 3 at The Hague.  Milosevic, refused legal counsel and declared the indictments false.

            An appeals court in Chile held July 9 that former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet was too ill to stand trial on charges that he covered up killings by a death squad while he was in power.

            Russia and China signed a treaty of “friendship and cooperation” July 16, which put the two countries on record against the Bush administrations plan for a missile-defense system.   Following this pact, Pres. George W. Bush and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin agreed July 22 to tie U.S. plans for building up missile-defense systems, to talks on reducing the nuclear stockpiles of each country.

            A landmark peace summit, between India and Pakistan, ended July 17 without any agreement in the dispute over Kashmir.  The mountain region, largely populated by Muslims, has been a part of mostly Hindu India since 1947, and the two countries have been fighting over it ever since.  Both governments indicated that some headway had been made during the talks.

            Thousands of demonstrators, many of them violent, stole the spotlight from the summit in Genoa, Italy, of the world’s 7 major industrial powers and Russia.  On the opening day of the summit, July 20, one demonstrating resident of Genoa was shot dead by police.  Scores were arrested and more than 100 people, including a dozen police officers, were injured.  On July 20, the leaders announced that $1.2 billion had been pledged to a UN “Global Health Fund” that would primarily target the AIDS epidemic, a growing crisis in many poor countries.  The division between the United States and other major nations on global warming continued.

            At a meeting in Bonn, Germany, on July 23, 178 countries, not including the U.S., reached a compromise agreement completing a global warming treaty.

            Indonesia’s People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), elected Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia’s founding leader, president on July 23, replacing Abdurraham Wahid, an influential Muslim cleric, who was removed from office because of incompetence.  Megawati’s party won most of the votes in a 1999 election, however, Muslim factions crushed her presidential bid because she was a woman.  Wahid, nearly blind, who has suffered two strokes, left the palace July 26 for travel to the United States for medical tests.

            Mt. Etna, in Sicily, Italy, continued to erupt on July 29 after nearly two weeks of activity.  The airport in Catania, Sicily, was closed for the second time to clear ash from the runways, which are located at the base of Europe’s tallest and most active volcano.


            An unidentified patient July 2 received the first fully implantable artificial heart, which operates on batteries.  The 7-hour procedure was performed at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY, on a patient who had a life expectancy of 30 days.  By July 27 the man, described to be in his 50s, was standing and walking short distances.

                The office of Nelson Mandela, the 83-year-old former president of South Africa, announced July 24, that he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. 


            Venus Williams defended her singles title at Wimbledon, July 8, defeating Belgian Justine Henin, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0.

            With his first Grand Slam title, unseeded Croatian Goran Ivanisevic became the first wild-card winner at Wimbledon, defeating Australian Patrick Rafter in an epic 5-set match on July 9 (6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7).

            Baltimore's Cal Ripken, Jr., hit a home run to lead off the third inning of the 72nd All-Star Game in Seattle on July 10.  Ripken, who had previously announced that 2001 would be his final season, was named the game's MVP for the second time (1991). The American League won, 4-1.

            The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced July 13, that Beijing, China, would host the 2008 Summer Olympics.  On July 16, Belgian orthopedic surgeon Jacques Rogge was elected IOC president.  The IOC also, breaking with a century-old tradition, voted to award medals in reverse order (bronze, silver, gold) on a test basis at the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

            American David Duval won his first major golf tournament, July 22, taking the British Open by 3 strokes over Sweden's Niclas Fasth.  Defending champion Tiger Woods finished 9 strokes back, tied for 25th.

            On July 29, Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France, the world's premier cycling event, for the third consecutive year. He is the first American to accomplish the feat.

Offbeat News Stories

By Kevin Seabrooke

One of the most anxiety-ridden adolescent rites of passage, the first driving test has spawned an abundance of horror stories.  But a teen in Toronto may have topped them all in July 2001.  Having successfully completed the required maneuvers, she only had to park at the test center to receive her license.  She found the lot all right, but panicked and stepped on the gas instead of the brake, hitting four parked cars.  Then she spun the car around, and hit two more parked cars, injuring a pedestrian standing between them.  Both the unfortunate driver-who failed the test-and the pedestrian were treated for leg injuries. The driving instructor was treated for shock.

About 73 years after the appearance of pre-sliced loaves of bread, comes the curious innovation of sliced peanut butter.  Developed by the Food and Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University, the flat squares of peanut butter, similar to individually-wrapped slices of processed cheese food, will be test-marketed in Wal-Mart stores in Texas and Oklahoma this summer.  School cafeterias have expressed interest in the product (attracted by the uniform portions) and there is the possibility of a dog-treat (it's said that most dogs go for peanut butter).  The slices are 90 percent peanut butter, with a filler additive that allows them to hold their shape.  Only creamy peanut butter will be available initially-crunchy slices are still in the works.

There'll be a whiff of nostalgia-with a hint of commercialism-in the air by Christmas 2001 if RMS Titanic, Inc., the company that owns the salvage rights to the wreck of the ill-fated Titanic, has its way.  On a summer 2000 expedition, a leather satchel containing about 60 vials of perfume oil extract was recovered from the sea floor with the scent still strong.  The samples belonged to salesman Adolphe Saalfeld, a first-class passenger who survived the sinking.  RMS Titanic hopes to have two perfumes, a replica of the original Edwardian scent and a more modern one for younger consumers, ready well before the 90th anniversary of the April 1912 disaster. Possible names so far include "Heart of the Ocean" (after the huge sapphire Kate Winslett wore in the 1997 Titanic film) and "1912."


IT'S A FACT:    Women over 55 watch about 41 hours of television a week, more than any other group of Americans, including children, who watch nearly 20 hours per week.

100 Years Ago in the WORLD ALMANAC

A comparison of the cost of a college education in 1901 vs. 2001 (statistical information from 2000-2001):






Adelphi College




Allegheny College




Amherst College




Boston University




Brigham Young College




Columbia University




DePauw University




Guilford College




Harvard University




LaSalle College




Mass. Inst. Technology




New York University




Univ. of Notre Dame




York College






Links of the Month

Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

"Tuesday, 20th June 1837 --- I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here, and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing-gown) and alone, and saw them Lord Conyngham (the Lord Chamberlain) then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen."  These are the words of Queen Victoria upon learning that she had become Queen.  To read more personal narratives of moments from history, including, the destruction of Pompeii in 79 AD, the death of Billy the Kid in 1881, and entering the tomb of King Tut, pay a visit to: 

My buddy Jim, who sits two offices down from me, and I share some similar interests when it comes to the books we read.  I've just finished reading the thoroughly enjoyable book "John Adams" by David McCullough and have passed it on to Jim, who is getting as much pleasure out of it as I did.  Getting books at a good price is always important to the two of us, and he suggests a visit to where you will be able to find a book and compare pricing at up to thirty sources on the web offering it, listed in order starting with the best price.

When I was a kid (there are some who suggest that I have never ceased to be one), there was nothing I wanted more, than to be at the beach on a summer afternoon, and what more fun was there than to make sandcastles.  Well, adults like to make sandcastles too, and if you want to see some extraordinary examples of this art form -- and it's certainly more than just castles, a visit to is a requirement.


I recently moved, and among the many treasures I found in my apartment, I found a few items which I no longer have any desire to keep (people who know me well, find this very difficult to believe).  While I have learned the tricks of the trade and have posted many items on eBay, I have also come to use the U.S. Postal Service site .  With the handy dandy mail scale I purchased, I can plug in two zip codes and the weight of my packages, and I'm offered a variety of shipping options to choose from.  And help keep your costs down, the post office supplies cartons for use with Priority Mail.


You waited what seems like a lifetime to inherit Grandma's china, and finally it is yours.  What's this?  There are only 3 tea cups and 2 soup bowls left?  You might not have to spend 20 years checking out garage sales; instead, you can visit Discontinued China at to check the availability of over 158,000 different patterns.  The site will help you with identification and let you register specialty needs.



News from The World Almanac


We've just launched a new Web site for the adult WORLD ALMANAC at .  You'll find there, more information about The World Almanac, as well as copies of all the previous editions of The World Almanac Monthly E-Newsletter.  In addition, to celebrate the publication of THE WORLD ALMANAC FOR KIDS 2002, we have just launched The World Almanac For Kids Online.  You can find it at .  The World Almanac for Kids Online offers games, quizzes, contests and homework help, with reference facts on topics like space, presidents, the environment, animals, geography, and historical birthdays for kids 7-13.






World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief
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