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Friday, June 04, 2004


Today is Friday, June 4th.

The 156th day of 2004.

There are 210 days left in the year.


Today's highlight in history:

On June 4, 1942, the Battle of Midway began during World War II.


On this date:

In 780, B.C.E., The first total solar eclipse reliably recorded is noted by the Chinese.

In 1070, Roquefort cheese was created in a cave near Roquefort, France.

In 1615, The fortress of Osaka, Japan, fell to shogun Ieyasu after a six month siege.

In 1674, Horse racing was prohibited in Massachusetts.

In 1717, The Freemasons are founded in London.

In 1784, Marie Thible becomes the world's first female pilot when she guides a hot-air balloon over Lyons, France.

In 1792, Capt. George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound for Britain.

In 1798, Casanova (Giacomo Girolamo Jacopo Casanova de Seingait) died at age 73. The Author, Spy, Romantic Exploiter; Soldier; Seminarian; Rogue; Philanderer; Adventurer was born April 2, 1725.

In 1805, Tripoli was forced to conclude peace with U.S. after conflicts over tribute.

In 1812, The Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory.

In 1878, Turkey turned Cyprus over to the British.

In 1892, The Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco.

In 1896, Henry Ford made a successful pre-dawn test run of his horseless carriage, called a "quadricycle," through the streets of Detroit.

In 1912, Massachusetts enacted the first U.S. minimum wage law (effective July 1, 1913).

In 1919, The National Suffrage Bill passed the U.S. Senate 56 to 25, and moved to the states for ratification.

In 1924, An eternal light was dedicated at Madison Square in New York City in memory of all New York soldiers who died in World War I.

In 1929, George Eastman demonstrates the first technicolor movie in Rochester NY.

In 1937, The Humpty Dumpty supermarket in Oklahoma City introduced the first shopping carts. Local inventor Sylvan Goldman built the buggies by attaching baskets to small chairs.

In 1939, During what became known as the "Voyage of the Damned," the SS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast. The ship was also denied permission to dock in Cuba, and eventually returned to Europe, where many of the refugees later died in Nazi concentration camps.

In 1940, German forces enter Paris.

In 1940, The British complete "miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 340,000 troops.

In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told the House of Commons "We shall fight on the seas and oceans; we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

In 1944, At 9:30 p.m., Group Captain James Stagg, chief meteorologist for the R.A.F., makes what some historians believe "the most important weather prediction in history" - gradual clearing on June sixth in Normandy.

In 1944, Allied forces enter Rome (out of respect for the religious holiday, Trinity Sunday, the American and British armies did not occupy the city until the next morning).

In 1945, The sixth Marine division occupied the Orokoe Peninsula Okinawa.

In 1945, US, Russia, England & France agree to split occupied Germany.

In 1947, The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Taft-Hartley Act. The law was later enacted over President Truman's veto. The legislation allowed the President of the United States to intervene in labor disputes.

In 1954, French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initialed treaties in Paris according "complete independence" to Vietnam.

In 1960, The Taiwan island of Quemoy is hit by 500 artillery shells fired from the coast of Communist China.

In 1961, the "K-19", the first Soviet atomic sub armed with nuclear warheads, loses its coolant system during a training exercise in the North Atlantic. 22 volunteers give their lives averting an explosion that would have poisoned the sea with radiation.

In 1965, The Rolling Stones release "Satisfaction"

In 1970, The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of the drug L-dopa for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

In 1972, Black militant Angela Davis was acquitted of murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charges stemming from a California courtroom shootout in which a judge and three other people were killed.

In 1981, The final episode of "The Waltons" aired. Six TV movies aired between 1982 and 1997.

In 1984, Bruce Springsteen releases "Born in the USA"

In 1985, An accord between Italy and the Vatican ended Roman Catholicism's position as "sole religion of the Italian state."

In 1986, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to spying for Israel. (He is serving a life prison term.)

In 1989, Hundreds, possibly thousands of people died as Chinese army troops stormed Beijing to crush a pro-democracy movement.

In 1990, The world met "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian when an Oregon woman, Janet Adkins, killed herself in Michigan using a "suicide machine" developed by the euthanasia advocate and retired pathologist.

In 1990, The Greyhound Bus Company filed bankruptcy.

In 1997, The final episode of "Married With Children" aired.

Ten years ago (1994):

President Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major paid tribute to the lost airmen of World War II at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.

Five years ago (1999):

Using a provision of the Constitution allowing him to bypass the Senate, President Clinton appointed openly gay San Francisco businessman James C. Hormel ambassador to Luxembourg while Congress was in recess.

On the tenth anniversary of China's crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests, tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil.

One year ago (2003):

President Bush held landmark meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers, hoping to advance a Middle East peace plan after winning new support from top Arab leaders.

Martha Stewart stepped down as head of her media empire, hours after federal prosecutors in New York charged her with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, securities fraud and lying to investigators. (Stewart was convicted last March of lying about why she'd sold her shares of ImClone Systems stock in 2001, just before the stock price plunged.)


Today's Birthdays:

Former Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) is 87.

Opera singer Robert Merrill is 85.

Actor Gene Barry (Eugene Klass) is 83

Actor/Olympian Dennis Weaver is 80.

Actor John Drew Barrymore is 72.

Actor Bruce Dern is 68.

Country singer Freddy Fender is 67.

Musician Roger Ball is 60.

Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 59.

Singer Gordon Waller (Peter and Gordon) is 59.

Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 53.

Actor Parker Stevenson is 52.

Actor Keith David is 48.

Actress Julie Gholson is 46.

Actor Eddie Velez is 46.

Singer-musician El DeBarge is 43.

Tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 39.

Actor Scott Wolf is 36.

Actor Noah Wyle is 33.

Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 30.

Comedian Horatio Sanz is 30.

Actress Angelina Jolie is 29.

Animal actor Eddie The Dog ("Frasier") is 14.


Thought for Today:

"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last." -

- Charlotte Bronte, English novelist (1816-1855).


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