Today is Wednesday, June 27, 179th day of 2012 with 187 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Irish patriot Charles Stewart Parnell in 1846; noted anarchist Emma Goldman in 1869; poet Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872; blind and deaf author Helen Keller in 1880; billiards champion Willie Mosconi in 1913; "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan in 1927; H. Ross Perot in 1930 (age 82); Beach Boy musician and songwriter Bruce Johnston in 1942 (age 70); fashion designers Norma Kamali in 1945 (age 67) and Vera Wang in 1949 (age 63); actors Julia Duffy in 1951 (age 61), Isabelle Adjani in 1955 (age 57), Christian Kane in 1974 (age 38) and Tobey Maguire in 1975 (age 37); and film and television writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams in 1966 (age 46).
On this date in history:
In 1801, British forces captured Cairo and the French began withdrawing from Egypt in one of the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1829, English scientist James Smithson left a will that eventually funded the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, in a country he never visited.
In 1844, Mormon founder Joseph Smith was slain by a mob at a jail in Carthage, Ill.
In 1847, the first telegraph wire links were established between New York City and Boston.
In 1859, Louisville, Ky., schoolteacher Mildred Hill wrote a tune for her students and called it "Good Morning To You." Her sister, Patty, wrote the lyrics and later added a verse that began "Happy Birthday To You."
In 1893, the "Panic of 1893" began as the value of the U.S. silver dollar fell to less than 60 cents in gold.
In 1950, U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. naval and air forces to help repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea.
In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled private employers could give special preferences to blacks to eliminate "manifest racial imbalance" in traditionally white-only jobs.
In 1991, Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall announced he was retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first African-American to sit on the high court.
In 1993, U.N.-sponsored talks between exiled Haitian President Aristide and the military leaders who ousted him opened in New York.
In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a historic mission to dock with the Russian space station Mir. The flight was also the 100th U.S.-piloted space mission.
In 2001, screen legend Jack Lemmon died at the age of 76.
In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court, acting in a Cleveland case, upheld that city's school vouchers program, in which public money goes to help parents pay tuition to non-public schools.
In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission opened a long-awaited nationwide registry for those who want to block unwanted telemarketing calls.
In 2004, two car bombs exploded near a mosque in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla, killing at least 23 Iraqi civilians and wounding 58 others.
In 2005, U.S. crude oil prices closed at a record $60 a barrel.
Also in 2005, Dennis Rader, the so-called "BTK" killer (bind, torture, kill), pleaded guilty to 10 slayings in the Wichita, Kan., area.
In 2007, Tony Blair officially stepped down as British prime minister when he submitted his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II and was succeeded by Gordon Brown. Blair moved into a new role as special international envoy for the Middle East.
In 2008, despite sharp, widespread opposition, the violent Zimbabwean presidential runoff election went as scheduled with incumbent Robert Mugabe re-elected as the only candidate left in the race. Challenger Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn citing escalating violence against his supporters.
In 2009, a top health official said the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, killed 127 people of the more than 1 million infected in the United States. About 3,000 were reported hospitalized.
In 2010, Toronto police arrested more than 300 protesters during a destructive rampage at a Group of 20 economic summit. Cost of hosting the meeting in a cash-strapped economy was given as one cause for the demonstration that grew violent.
Also in 2010, the mineral-rich but poor West African nation of Guinea, which won its independence from France in 1958, had its first democratic election but its bid to name a new president went into a runoff that took until November to decide.
In 2011, a federal court jury in Chicago convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 felony corruption charges, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after the 2008 presidential election.
Also in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that banned the sale of violent video games to minors under 18 years old in a major First Amendment case.
A thought for the day: Francis Bacon said, "If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."