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Sunday, June 20, 2004


Today is Sunday, June 20th.

The 172nd day of 2004.

There are 194 days left in the year.

This is Father's Day.

Summer begins at 8:57 pm EDT.


Today's Highlight in History:

On June 20, 1893, a jury in New Bedford MA, found Lizzie Borden innocent of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.


On this date:

In 1662, Three women were condemned as witches in Hartford CT.

In 1756, In India, a group of 146 captured British soldiers were imprisoned in a suffocating cell that gained notoriety as the "Black Hole of Calcutta"; most died.

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States. William Barton designed the seal, which depicted an eagle clutching an olive branch in one talon and 13 arrows in the other, and in its beak, a ribbon bearing the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM," meaning "one out of many." Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey would be a more appropriate symbol.

In 1791, King Louis XVI of France was captured while attempting to flee the country in the so-called Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.

In 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his cotton gin. He received the patent on March 14. The cotton gin initiated the American mass-production concept.

In 1819, The "U.S.S. Savannah" becomes the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

In 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

In 1840, a pantent for the telegraph was granted to Samuel F.B. Morse.

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state admitted to the Union carved out of the state of Virginia, which seceeded from the Union over slavery.

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson announces the purchase of Alaska.

In 1898, During the Spanish-American War, the U.S. cruiser "Charleston" captured the Spanish-ruled island of Guam.

In 1909, Movie star Errol Flynn was born in Tasmania. He died October 14, 1959 at age 50.

In 1923, Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary leader, was assassinated on his farm.

In 1924, Legendary guitarist/singer/producer/arranger Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins was born in Luttrell TN. He died June 30, 2001 at age 77.

In 1924, America's most decorated hero, Audie Murphy was born. He died May 28, 1971 at age 46.

In 1937, W2XBS (later WCBS-TV) televised the first TV operetta. The work was the "Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan.

In 1941, The U.S. Army Air Force was established, replacing the Army Air Corps.

In 1943, Race-related rioting erupted in Detroit; federal troops were sent in two days later to quell the violence that resulted in more than 30 deaths.

In 1944, The "Battle of the Philippine Sea" ended with Japan losing almost all its remaining trained pilots and at least 4,000 seamen.

In 1944, Congress charters the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In 1947, President Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act, but had his veto overridden by Congress.

In 1947, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was shot dead at the Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, apparently at the order of mob associates angered over the soaring costs of Siegel's pet project, the Flamingo resort in Las Vegas NV.

In 1948, "Toast of the Town" debuted on CBS-TV. The show was hosted by Ed Sullivan. The name of the show was eventually changed to "The Ed Sullivan Show."

In 1963, The United States and Soviet Union signed an agreement to set up a "hot line" between the two superpowers.

In 1964, Gen. William ("light at the end of the tunnel") Westmoreland succeeds Gen. Paul Hakins as head of U.S. forces in Vietnam.

In 1966, The U.S. Open golf tournament was broadcast in color for the first time.

In 1967, Boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. (Ali's conviction was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court).

In 1977, The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, from Prudue Bay to Valez, began operation.

In 1979, ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot to death in Managua, Nicaragua, by a member of President Anastasio Somoza's national guard.

In 1988, The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld a New York City law making it illegal for private clubs to generally exclude women and minorities.

In 1991, German lawmakers voted to move the seat of the national government back to Berlin.

In 2001, In Houston, Texas, housewife Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family bathtub, then called police; she was later sentenced to life in prison.

In 2002, The U.S. Supreme Court declared that executing mentally retarded murderers was unconstitutionally cruel.

Ten years ago:

O.J. Simpson pleaded innocent in Los Angeles to the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Former airman Dean Allen Mellberg went on a shooting rampage at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Wash., killing four people and wounding 22 others before being killed by a military police sharpshooter.

Five years ago:

As the last of 40,000 Yugoslav troops rolled out of Kosovo, NATO declared a formal end to its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Golfer Payne Stewart won his second U.S. Open title, by one stroke over Phil Mickelson.

One year 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 Bush named Scott McClellan his new press secretary, succeeding Ari Fleischer.

Wildfires fueled by high winds burned 250 homes in southern Arizona.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Olympia Dukakis is 73.

Actor James Tolkan is 73.

Actor Martin Landau is 73.

Actor Danny Aiello is 71.

Actor John Mahoney is 64.

Movie director Stephen Frears is 63.

Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 62.

Actor John McCook is 59.

Singer Anne Murray is 59.

T.V. personality Bob Vila is 58.

Musician Andre Watts is 58.

Actress Candy Clark is 57.

Tina Sinatra is 56.

Rhythm and blues singer Lionel Richie is 55.

Actor John Goodman is 52.

Singer Cyndi Lauper is 51.

Rock musician Michael Anthony (Van Halen) is 50.

Musician John Taylor is 44.

Rock musician Mark DeGliantoni is 42.

Rock musician Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray) is 37.

Actress Nicole Kidman is 37.

Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 36.

Actor Peter Paige ("Queer As Folk") is 30.


Thought for Today:

"Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith." -

- Franz Kafka, Austrian author and poet (1883-1924).


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