Today is the 226th day of 2012 and the 55th day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1521, Hernando Cortes captured Tenochtitlan (later Mexico City) after a three-month siege.
In 1907, the first motorized taxicab took fares in New York City.
In 1961, East Germany sealed off the boundary between the eastern and western parts of Berlin with a barbed wire fence.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Annie Oakley (1860-1926), sharpshooter; Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), film director; Fidel Castro (1926- ), former Cuban president; Don Ho (1930-2007), singer; Danny Bonaduce (1959- ), actor; Shani Davis (1982- ), Olympic speed skater.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2008, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 10th and 11th career gold medals at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
TODAY'S FACT: Fidel Castro, as a schoolboy in 1940, wrote a letter to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt requesting a $10 bill.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it." -- Alfred Hitchcock
TODAY'S NUMBER: 13,237 -- medallion taxicabs in New York City in 2012.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Aug. 9) and new moon (Aug. 17).