Today is Wednesday, June 21, the 172nd day of 2006 with 193 to follow.
Summer begins at 8:26 a.m. EDT.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Venus, Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include the first U.S. first lady, Martha Washington, in 1731; philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre in 1905; actors Jane Russell in 1921 (age 85), Maureen Stapleton in 1925, Bernie Kopell ("The Love Boat") in 1933 (age 73), Monty Markham in 1938 (age 68), and Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter, both in 1947 (age 59); actress/TV host Mariette Hartley and comic actor Joe Flaherty, both in 1940 (age 66); former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1953 (age 53); actor Robert Pastorelli in 1954; actress Juliette Lewis in 1973 (age 33); and Britain's Prince William in 1982 (age 24).
On this date in history:
In 1788, the U.S. Constitution became effective when the ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified it.
In 1945, Japanese defenders of Okinawa Island surrendered to U.S. troops.
In 1964, three civil rights workers disappeared on their way to investigate a church burning in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam Aug. 4.
In 1972, Hurricane Agnes hit the eastern seaboard, wreaking havoc across seven states. Six days later, 118 people were dead.
In 1984, the United States reported that an explosion in mid-May at a Soviet navy supply depot 900 miles north of Moscow had apparently killed more than 200 people.
In 1985, international experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conclusively identified the bones of a 1979 drowning victim as the remains of Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele, ending a 40-year search for the "angel of death" of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Iran, killing as many as 50,000 people.
Also in 1990, the U.S. House of Representatives failed by 34 votes to pass a flag-protection constitutional amendment.
In 1997, Cambodia announced the capture of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.
In 1998, opposition leader Andres Pastrana Arango was elected president of Colombia by a narrow margin.
In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton began a two-day visit to the Balkans, where he visited with Kosovo refugees in Slovenia and Macedonia.
In 2000, NASA announced that its Mars Global Surveyor had spotted grooved surface features, suggesting a relatively recent water flow on the planet.
In 2002, as the Roman Catholic Church tried to deal with reports of sexual abuse among the clergy, a priest in Texas was arrested on charges that two years earlier he had raped a woman who was seeking advice.
Also in 2003, an Arizona wildfire that had exceeded 6,300 acres threatened the resort town of Oracle for a time with more than 700 firefighters on the scene.
In 2004, Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned as he faced possible impeachment charges in a scandal involving state contractors.
Also in 2004, guerrillas stormed three towns in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, killing 97 people.
In 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
A thought for the day: Confucius said, "The only people who cannot change are the most wise and the most stupid."