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Friday, June 20, 2008


Today is Friday, June 20, the 172nd day of 2008.
There are 194 days left in the year. Summer arrives at 7:59 p.m. Eastern time.

Today's Highlight in History:

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

On this date:

In 1756, in India, a group of British soldiers was imprisoned in a cell that gained notoriety as the "Black Hole of Calcutta." However, the exact circumstances -- such as the number of prisoners, originally put at 146, and how many of them died -- are disputed.

In 1782, Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States.

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

In 1863, West Virginia became the 35th state.

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

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.

In 1948, the television variety series "Toast of the Town," hosted by Ed Sullivan, debuted on CBS.

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

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 2001, Houston resident Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the family bathtub, then called police. Yates was later convicted of murder, but had her conviction overturned; she was acquitted in a retrial.

Ten years ago: On the eve of Father's Day, President Clinton used his weekly radio address to announce the release of the first wave of almost $60 million in prostate cancer research grants.

Five 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 Bush named Scott McClellan his new press secretary, succeeding Ari Fleischer. Wildfires fueled by high winds burned 250 homes in southern Arizona.

One year ago: For the second time, President Bush vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill as he urged scientists toward what he termed "ethically responsible" research. Sammy Sosa, playing for the Texas Rangers after a year out of baseball, hit his 600th home run, making him the fifth player to reach the milestone.

Today's Birthdays:

Actress Olympia Dukakis is 77.

Actor Martin Landau is 77.

Actor James Tolkan is 77.

Actor Danny Aiello is 75.

Blues musician Lazy Lester is 75.

Actor John Mahoney is 68.

Movie director Stephen Frears is 67.

Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson is 66.

Actor John McCook is 63.

Singer Anne Murray is 63.

TV personality Bob Vila is 62.

Musician Andre Watts is 62.

Actress Candy Clark is 61.

Producer Tina Sinatra is 60.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Lionel Richie is 59.

Actor John Goodman is 56.

Rock musician Michael Anthony is 54.

Musician John Taylor is 48.

Rock musician Mark DeGliantoni is 46.

Rock musician Murphy Karges (Sugar Ray) is 41.

Actress Nicole Kidman is 41.

Movie director Robert Rodriguez is 40.

Actor Peter Paige is 39.

Actor Josh Lucas is 37.

Country-folk singer-songwriter Amos Lee is 31.

Country singer Chuck Wicks is 29.

Actor Chris Mintz-Plasse is 19.

Actress Maria Lark (TV: "Medium") is 11.

Thought for Today: "Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith." -- Franz Kafka, Austrian author and poet (1883-1924).

Summer began today at 2359 UTC. That was at 4:59 pm PDT (where I am at) and the temp here in the valley is currently 105°f (40.5°c). This is the first day where we have turned on the a/c.

I had forgotten what hot is.

Oh, if you would like a listing of all the soltaces and equinoxes through 2020, just click here.

"Let's all be careful out there!"