Today is the 237th day of 2012 and the 66th day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted in southern Italy, destroying the cities of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum.
In 1814, British forces set fire to the White House.
In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York for the murder of John Lennon.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union announced a new definition for "planet," which demoted Pluto to its current status as a "dwarf planet."
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), writer; Paulo Coelho (1947- ), author; Mike Shanahan (1952- ), football coach; Mike Huckabee (1955- ), politician/TV personality; Cal Ripken Jr. (1960- ), baseball player; Craig Kilborn (1962- ), TV personality; Marlee Matlin (1965- ), actress; Reggie Miller (1965- ), basketball player; Dave Chappelle (1973- ), actor/comedian; Rupert Grint (1988- ), actor.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1989, baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Pete Rose from the sport for gambling on Major League Baseball games.
TODAY'S FACT: The White House was first painted white in 1798, when a lime-based whitewash was applied. The earliest-known written mention of the "White House" is from 1812. President Theodore Roosevelt made the name official in 1901.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The flattery of posterity is not worth much more than contemporary flattery, which is worth nothing." -- Jorge Luis Borges
TODAY'S NUMBER: 5 -- dwarf planets in our solar system currently recognized by the International Astronomical Union: Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Haumea and Makemake.
TODAY'S MOON: First quarter moon (Aug. 24).