Today is the 227th day of 2014 and the 56th day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1483, the Vatican's Sistine Chapel was consecrated.
In 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened.
In 1947, India and Pakistan won independence from Britain.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon canceled the direct convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold.
In 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, and agreed to pay reparations.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), French emperor; Walter Scott (1771-1832), poet/novelist; Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), actress; Edna Ferber (1885-1968), author; Julia Child (1912-2004), TV personality; Steig Larsson (1954-2004), journalist/author; Debra Messing (1968- ), actress; Ben Affleck (1972- ), actor; Carl Edwards (1979- ), race car driver; Jennifer Lawrence (1990- ), actress.
TODAY'S FACT: The price of gold skyrocketed from $35 per ounce in 1971 to $800 per ounce in 1980 as a result of the economic measures undertaken by President Nixon in 1971.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1948, Babe Didrikson Zaharias won the third women's golf U.S. Open, even after missing a 5-foot putt on the 18th hole.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!" -- Walter Scott, "Marmion"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 400,000 -- estimated number of concert-goers who attended the three-day Woodstock Music Festival when it opened near Bethel, N.Y., on this day in 1969.
TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (Aug. 10) and last quarter moon (Aug. 17).