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Five years ago: At the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps and three teammates won the 400-meter medley relay for Phelps' eighth gold medal. In tennis, Venus and Serena Williams defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain in women's doubles; Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the men's singles; Elena Dementieva defeated fellow Russian Dinara Safina in the women's singles. Matamoros, Mexico, pitcher Jesus Sauceda had the fifth perfect game in Little League World Series history as he struck out all 12 batters in a 12-0 win over Emilia, Italy.
One year ago: In Moscow, a judge sentenced three punk rock-style activists, members of the band Pussy Riot, to two years in prison for hooliganism for briefly taking over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance from Russian President Vladimir Putin; the court decision drew protests around the world. (One of the three defendants was later released on probation.)
Today's birthdays: Actress Maureen O'Hara is 93. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (jahng zuh-MEEN') is 87. Author V.S. Naipaul is 81. Former MLB All-Star Boog Powell is 72. Actor Robert DeNiro is 70. Movie director Martha Coolidge is 67. Rock musician Gary Talley (The Box Tops) is 66. Rock musician Sib Hashian is 64. Actor Robert Joy is 62. International Tennis Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas is 61. Rock singer Kevin Rowland (Dexy's Midnight Runners) is 60. Rock musician Colin Moulding (XTC) is 58. Country singer-songwriter Kevin Welch is 58. Olympic gold medal figure skater Robin Cousins is 56. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 55. Author Jonathan Franzen is 54. Actor Sean Penn is 53. Jazz musician Everette Harp is 52. Rock musician Gilby Clarke is 51. Singer Maria McKee is 49. Rock musician Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes) is 48. Rock musician Jill Cunniff (kuh-NIHF') is 47. Actor David Conrad is 46. Singer Donnie Wahlberg is 44. Former NBA player Christian Laettner is 44. Rapper Posdnuos (PAHS'-deh-noos) is 44. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier is 43. MLB player Jorge Posada is 42. Actor Mark Salling (TV: "Glee") is 31. Actor Bryton James is 27. Actor Brady Corbet (kohr-BAY') is 25.
Thought for today: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it." -- Edith Wharton, American author (1862-1937)
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