Today is Thursday, June 17, the 168th day of 2010 with 197 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. The evening stars are Venus and Mars
Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in 1703; Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky in 1882; Dutch artist M.C. Escher in 1898; actor Ralph Bellamy in 1904; author John Hersey in 1914;
Football Hall of Fame member Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch in 1923; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei in 1942 (age 68); former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and singer Barry Manilow, both in 1943 (age 67); musician George S. Clinton in 1947 (age 63); comedian Joe Piscopo in 1951 (age 59); actors Mark Linn-Baker in 1954 (age 56), Thomas Haden Church in 1960 (age 50), Greg Kinnear in 1963 (age 47) and Jason Patric in 1966 (age 44); Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen in 1965 (age 45); and tennis star Venus Williams in 1980 (age 30).
On this date in history:
In 1967, China announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.
In 1972, the Watergate scandal began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington.
In 1982, Argentina's President Leopoldo Galtieri resigned in response to Britain's victory in the Falkland Islands war.
In 1986, Kate Smith, one of America's most popular singers in the '20s, '30s and '40s, died at the age of 79.
Also in 1986, Maryland basketball star Len Bias, about to enter the pro ranks, dropped dead from cocaine intoxication, focusing national attention on cocaine use by athletes.
In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk ended apartheid when he repealed the Population Registration Act that classified South Africans by race from birth.
In 1992, two Germans were released by their pro-Iranian kidnappers after three years in captivity in Lebanon. They were the last of the Western hostages to be freed.
In 1994, Los Angeles police charged O.J. Simpson with killing his ex-wife and her friend. The former football star and actor was acquitted in a controversial, high-profile criminal trial.
Also in 1994, members of the Branch Davidian cult were sentenced to prison on charges stemming from the 1993 federal raid on their compound near Waco, Texas.
In 1996, ValuJet Airlines shut down about a month after a crash in the Florida Everglades led to questions about the carrier's safety and maintenance records.
In 2003, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien promised legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage throughout his country.
In 2004, a massive car bomb killed at least 30 people and wounded 150 others in central Baghdad, two weeks before the handover of power to Iraqis.
In 2005, L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chief executive of Tyco, was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and grand larceny charges.
In 2006, two men died and 12,000 villagers were left without water as Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted, spewing gas, rocks and lava.
In 2007, a fire at a Charleston, S.C., furniture store killed nine firefighters when the roof collapsed.
Also in 2007, British police said they rescued 31 children from abuse when they broke up a large international pedophile ring that stretched into 35 countries.
In 2008, negotiators for Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, reported reaching agreement on a three-step cease-fire plan to quell the violence in the region.
In 2009, in a speech to the American Medical Association, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that without action now on healthcare reform, "the rolls of the insured will swell to include millions more Americans."
Also in 2009, investigators said there were no signs of an explosion aboard the Air France Flight 447 that crashed in the Atlantic on a Rio de Janeiro to Paris trip killing all 228 aboard.
A thought for the day: Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."