Today is the 216th day of 2012 and the 45th day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1492, Christopher Columbus, seeking a sea route to the Far East, departed Palos de la Frontera, Spain.
In 1914, Germany declared war on France.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president of Iran.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Ernie Pyle (1900-1945), journalist/war correspondent; John Scopes (1900-1970), teacher; Leon Uris (1924-2003), novelist; Tony Bennett (1926- ), singer; Martin Sheen (1940- ), actor; Martha Stewart (1941- ), TV personality/business mogul; James Hetfield (1963- ), musician; Tom Brady (1977- ), football player; Evangeline Lilly (1979- ), actress; Ryan Lochte (1984- ), Olympic swimmer.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1984, gymnast Mary Lou Retton scored a perfect 10 in the vault event to clinch an Olympic gold medal in the all-around competition.
TODAY'S FACT: The Navy's submarine branch has received more decorations of honor, per person, than any other Navy branch.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "How often in life it is a truth that we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies." -- Leon Uris
TODAY'S NUMBER: 70 -- length (in days) of Christopher Columbus' first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Aug. 1) and last quarter moon (Aug. 9).