Today is Thursday, Aug. 24, the 236th day of 2017 with 129 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning star is Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter and Mercury.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include Argentine poet/author Jorge Luis Borges in 1899; Palestinian leader/Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yasser Arafat in 1929; British novelist A.S. Byatt in 1936 (age 81); musician David Freiberg in 1938 (age 79); musician Mason Williams in 1938 (age 79); wrestling entrepreneur Vince McMahon in 1945 (age 72); Brazilian author Paul Coelho in 1947 (age 70); actor Anne Archer in 1947 (age 70); former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 1955 (age 62); actor Stephan Fry in 1957 (age 60); actor Steve Guttenberg in 1958 (age 59); baseball Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken Jr. (major league record 2,632 consecutive games) in 1960 (age 57); political commentator Major Garrett in 1962 (age 55); actor Marlee Matlin in 1965 (age 52); director Ava DuVernay in 1972 (age 45); comedian Dave Chappelle in 1973 (age 44); young adult author John Green in 1977 (age 40); actor Chad Michael Murray in 1981 (age 36); actor Rupert Grint in 1988 (age 29).


On this date in history:

In 79 A.D., thousands died and the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

In 1814, the British captured Washington and burned the Capitol and the White House.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly non-stop across the United States.

In 1981, Mark Chapman, who claimed devils forced him to kill John Lennon and God told him to confess, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for fatally shooting the former leader of the Beatles.

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In 1987, a U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati ruled public schools could require students to study textbooks not accepted by religious fundamentalists.

In 1990, Irish-British hostage Brian Keenan, held by pro-Iranian Muslim extremists in Lebanon for more than four years, was freed.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev quit as general secretary of the Communist Party central committee. He also ordered his Cabinet to resign.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida south of Miami with sustained winds of 145 mph. The storm killed 15 people and caused more than $30 billion in damage.

In 1996, four women became students at The Citadel, a military school in South Carolina that had fought in court to remain all-male.

In 2004, two Russian passenger jetliners crashed within minutes of each other after taking off from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. Authorities said terrorist attacks caused the crashes, which killed 89 people.

In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush vowed in an Idaho speech that he wouldn't retreat from Iraq or the rest of the Middle East until U.S. troops "win the war on terror."

In 2006, Pluto, the small, distant astronomic body that has discovered in 1930, was demoted to "dwarf planet" status when the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of "planet."

In 2008, the Summer Olympic Games came to a close in Beijing, with the United States winning the most medals, 110, including 36 gold. Host China captured the most gold medals, 51, and was second in the overall category at 100. U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals in eight events.

In 2011, Steve Jobs, co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc., resigned, telling his company's board he could "no longer meet my duties and expectations." Jobs, 56, who stayed on as chairman, had battled cancer for several years. He died Oct. 5, 2011.

In 2012, Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway, was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the longest prison term possible for murder and terrorism under Norwegian law.

In 2013, Bolivian government officials said inmates at a prison in Santa Cruz used knives, machetes, self-made flamethrowers and other weapons in a gang battle that left 30 people dead and dozens injured.

In 2014, acclaimed British actor-turned-director-filmmaker Richard Attenborough, whose 1982 movie Gandhi won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director, died in London. He was 90.

A thought for the day: It was Hartford (Conn.) Courant Editor Charles Dudley Warner -- and not his friend and colleague Mark Twain -- who said, "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it."