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Thursday, June 17, 2004


Today is Thursday, June 17th.

The 169th day of 2004.

There are 197 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On June 17, 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston. The battle, which actually occurred on Breed's Hill, was a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses while dislodging the rebels.


On this date:

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake sails into San Francisco Bay and claims the region for Queen Elizabeth of England.

In 1700, Massachusetts enacts a law requiring Roman Catholic priests to leave the colony within three months.

In 1824, The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was established.

In 1831, The boiler exploded on America's first passenger locomotive, "The Best Friend of Charleston", killing the fireman. He was the first person in America to be killed in a railroad accident.

In 1856, In Philadelphia, the Republican Party opened its first convention.

In 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln witnessed Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air balloon.

In 1863, Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford CT was chartered (first accident insurer in the USA).

In 1866, The New York City Athletic Club was formed.

In 1867, Joseph Lister in Glascow, Scotland becomes the first surgeon to perform surgery under antiseptic conditions.

In 1876, General George Crook’s command was attacked and bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne forces under the leadership of Crazy Horse. Eight days before joining Sitting Bull to defeat General George Custer at Little Big Horn.

In 1885, The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.

In 1890, H. Maxim and R. Schupphaus receive a patent for smokeless gunpowder, and this product is adopted by the U.S. government to produce dynamite.

In 1894, The first US poliomyelitis epidemic breaks out in Rutland VT

In 1895, US Ship Canal (W 225th St) in the Bronx completed; cutting Marble Hill off from Manhattan

In 1898, US Senate agrees to annex Hawaii.

In 1904, Actor Ralph Bellamy, whose career spanned 7 decades, was born in Chicago IL. He died November 29, 1991 at age 87 in Santa Monica CA.

In 1912, American pilot Julia Clark became the first woman to be killed in a plane accident when her biplane crashed in Springfield, Illinois.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales -- the first by a woman.

In 1937, The Marx Brothers' film "A Day At The Races" opens in NYC.

In 1939, The last person to be publicly guillotined in France, murderer Eugen Weidmann, was executed before a large crowd at Versailles.

In 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.

In 1941, WNBT-TV (WRCA-TV, now WNBC-TV channel 4) in New York City, NY, was granted the first construction permit to operate a commercial TV station in the U.S. (WNBT signed on the air on July 1, 1941 at 1:29 p.m.).

In 1942, The first issue of the Army weekly newspaper, "Yank" is published. This issue also coined the term "G.I. Joe" on this day, in a comic strip drawn by Dave Breger.

In 1944, Iceland declared its independence from Denmark, and established The Republic of Iceland at Thingvallir.

In 1948, A United Air Lines DC-6 crashed near Mount Carmel, Pa., killing all 43 people on board.

In 1950, Dr. Richard H. Lawler performed the first kidney transplant in a 45-minute operation in Chicago IL.

In 1953, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed the execution of convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, originally scheduled for the next day, the couple's 14th wedding anniversary. (They were put to death on June 19.).

In 1954, The televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings end.

In 1960, Ted Williams hit his 500th home run

In 1963, The Supreme Court struck down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.

In 1965, 27 Guam-based B-52s bomb a Vietcong concentration 30 miles north of Saigon in the first mass bombing raid of the Vietnam War (first combat use of the bombers since placed in operation in 1952). Two planes were lost.

In 1967, China becomes world's 4th thermonuclear (H-bomb) power.

In 1971, The United States and Japan signed a treaty under which the U.S. would return control of the island of Okinawa.

In 1972, President Nixon's eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington D.C.'s Watergate complex.

In 1976, Four teams from the folded American Basketball Assocation (New York Nets, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, and Denver Nuggets) join the National Basketball Association.

In 1980, Led Zeppelin began their last tour.

In 1981, "The Family Protection Act" is introduced in Congress by Senator Roger Jensen (R-IA.) Under the bill, anyone who is gay, or even suggests homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle will not be allowed to receive federal funds of any kind -- including Social Security, welfare, veterans' benefits or student loans. Schools will also be forced to use textbooks which "reinforce the traditional role of men and women." The legislation is never passed (despite several attempts) and its champion will lose his 1984 reelection bid, after "Mr. Family Values" is found to be a member of a "private spa" which is really a brothel.

In 1991, The 100th episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" aired.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a breakthrough arms-reduction agreement.

In 2001, Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill to ban the execution of mentally retarded death row inmates, saying the state already had numerous safeguards in place to protect them.

In 2002, The Supreme Court struck down an Ohio village's law that required door-to-door solicitors to register with authorities and carry a permit.

Ten years ago (1994):

After leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial, but held liable in a civil trial.)

Five years ago (1999):

The Republican-controlled House narrowly voted to loosen restrictions on sales at gun shows, marking a victory for the National Rifle Association.

Joseph Stanley Faulder, a former auto mechanic who killed a woman during a 1975 burglary, became the first Canadian to be executed in the United States in almost half a century when he received a lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas.

One year ago (2003):

A federal appeals court ruled the government properly withheld names and other details about hundreds of foreigners who were detained in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Justice Department issued a directive banning routine racial and ethnic profiling at all 70 federal agencies with law enforcement powers.

English soccer star David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid by Manchester United for a $41 million transfer fee.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Peter Lupus is 72.

Former Speaker Of the House of Representatives Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is 61.

National radio host Art Bell is 59.

Singer Barry Manilow is 58.

Comedian Joe Piscopo is 53.

Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 50.

Actor Jon Gries is 47.

Actor Greg Kinnear is 40.

Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 39.

Actor Jason Patric is 38.

Rhythm and blues singer Kevin Thornton is 35.

Tennis player Venus Williams is 24.

Actor-rapper Herculeez (Herculeez and Big Tyme) is 19.

Actor Damani Roberts is 8.


Thought for Today:

"During my 87 years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think." -

- Bernard M. Baruch, American businessman and statesman (1870-1965).


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