Today is the 215th day of 2014 and the 44th 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 U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Elisha Otis (1811-1861), inventor; Ernie Pyle (1900-1945), journalist/war correspondent; Leon Uris (1924-2003), author; Tony Bennett (1926- ), singer; Martin Sheen (1940- ), actor; Martha Stewart (1941- ), TV personality/business mogul; James Hetfield (1963- ), singer-songwriter; Tom Brady (1977- ), football player; Evangeline Lilly (1979- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: Santa Claus Land, the world's first theme park, opened on this day in 1946 in Santa Claus, Indiana.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1936, Jesse Owens won the first of his four gold medals during the Olympic Games in Berlin. Owens edged out teammate Ralph Metcalfe with a 10.3-second time in the 100-meter dash.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "After all, the only thing that is going to save mankind is if enough people live their lives for something or someone other than themselves." -- Leon Uris, "QB VII"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 70 -- length (in days) of Christopher Columbus' first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492.
TODAY'S MOON: First quarter moon (Aug. 3).