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Monday, May 31, 2004


Today is Monday, May 31st.

The 152nd day of 2004.

There are 214 days left in the year.

This is the Memorial Day observance.


Today's Highlight in History:

On May 31, 1889, more than 2,000 people perished when a dam break sent water rushing through Johnstown, Pa.


On this date:

In 1578, The Catacombs of Rome are discovered by accident

In 1634, Massachusetts Bay colony annexes Maine colony.

In 1638, Hartford, CT was established.

In 1678, Tax protester Lady Godiva rides naked through Coventry.

In 1790, The US copyright law is enacted .

In 1809, Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died in Vienna, Austria.

In 1819, Poet Walt Whitman was born in West Hill, N.Y.

In 1837, New York's Astor Hotel opened as the most elaborate in the U.S. It was founded by John Jacob Astor, a rich fur trader. Years later, it became the Waldorf-Astoria.

In 1884, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented "flaked cereal."

In 1910, The Union of South Africa was founded.

In 1913, The 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S. senators, was declared in effect.

In 1927, The 15,007,003rd and final Ford Model "T" Car rolled off the assembly line.

In 1961, South Africa became an independent republic.

In 1962, World War II Gestapo official Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel for his role in the Nazi Holocaust.

In 1970, Tens of thousands of people died in an earthquake in Peru.

In 1977, The trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making, was completed.

In 1989, House Speaker Jim Wright, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would resign. (Thomas Foley later succeeded him.)

In 1991, Leaders of Angola's two warring factions signed a peace treaty, ending a 16-year-old civil war.

Ten years ago (1994):

Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), maintaining his innocence, was indicted on 17 felony counts alleging he'd plundered nearly $700,000 from the government. (Rostenkowski later pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing federal funds, and spent 451 days in federal custody.)

The United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.

Five years ago (1999):

During a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton asked Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, calling it "a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of what we believe in."

In Turkey, the treason trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan opened. (Ocalan was later convicted and sentenced to death, but the death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2002.)

One year ago (2003):

President Bush visited the site of the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland as he challenged allies to overcome their bitterness and mistrust over the Iraq war and unite in the struggle against terrorism.

Olympic Park bombing suspect Eric Robert Rudolph was arrested outside a grocery store in Murphy, N.C.

Air France's Concorde returned to Paris in a final commercial flight.


Today's Birthdays:

Prince Rainier III of Monaco is 81.

Actress Elaine Stewart is 75.

Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 74.

Singer Peter Yarrow is 66.

Former Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite is 65.

Singer-musician Augie Meyers is 64.

Actress Sharon Gless is 61.

Football Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath is 61.

Actor Tom Berenger is 54.

Actor Gregory Harrison is 54.

Comedian Chris Elliott is 44.

Actor Kyle Secor is 44.

Actress Lea Thompson is 43.

Singer Corey Hart is 42.

Rapper DMC (McDarryl "D" McDaniels) is 40.

Rapper Kid Frost is 40.

Actress Brooke Shields is 39.

Country musician Ed Adkins (The Derailers) is 37.

Actor Colin Farrell is 28.

Rock musician Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish) is 27.

Actor Curtis Williams Junior is 17.


Thought for Today:

"In the faces of men and women I see God." -

- Walt Whitman (1819-1892).