Ten years ago: Secretary of State Colin Powell met separately with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, praising the Israelis for efforts toward an eventual peace settlement and urging speed on the Palestinians. President George W. Bush named Scott McClellan his new press secretary, succeeding Ari Fleischer. Wildfires fueled by high winds burned 250 homes in southern Arizona.
Five years ago: Lightning began sparking more than 2,000 fires across northern and central California, eventually burning over a million acres.
One year ago: A Republican-controlled House committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Justice Department documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. (The full House voted in favor of the contempt citation eight days later.) Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. Painter and sketch artist LeRoy Neiman, best known for evoking the kinetic energy of the world's biggest sporting and leisure events with bright quick strokes, died in New York at age 91.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Martin Landau is 85. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 82. Actor James Tolkan is 82. Actor Danny Aiello is 80. Blues musician Lazy Lester is 80. Actor John Mahoney is 73. Movie director Stephen Frears is 72. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 71. Actor John McCook is 69. Singer Anne Murray is 68. TV personality Bob Vila is 67. Musician Andre Watts is 67. Actress Candy Clark is 66. Producer Tina Sinatra is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lionel Richie is 64. Actor John Goodman is 61. Rock musician Michael Anthony is 59. Pop musician John Taylor is 53. Rock musician Mark DeGliantoni (de-GLI'-an-toh-nee) is 51. Rock musician Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray) is 46. Actress Nicole Kidman is 46. Country/bluegrass singer-musician Dan Tyminski is 46. Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 45. Actor Peter Paige is 44. Actor Josh Lucas is 42. Rock musician Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) is 42. Rock singer Chino Moreno (Deftones) is 40. Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 36. Country singer Chuck Wicks is 34. Christian rock musician Chris Dudley (Underoath) is 30. Rock singer Grace Potter (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals) is 30. Actor Mark Saul is 28. Actress Dreama Walker is 27. Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (plahs) is 24. Actress Maria Lark is 16.
Thought for Today: "Know how to ask. There is nothing more difficult for some people, nor for others, easier." — Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher (1601-1658).