A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  June 18, 2002 at 3:15 AM
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Today is June 24

The Berlin Airlift began on this date in 1948. The Soviet Union, challenging the West's right to access to Berlin, blockaded the western zones of the divided German city. The West had to airlift supplies to the 2 million people living there. The Berlin Airlift lasted 321 days - until Joseph Stalin finally backed down and the airlift ended May 12, 1949.

It was on this date in 1812 that Napoleon's army entered Russia. The attempt by the French emperor to add to his territory ended badly.

Kurdish militants, seeking to call attention to their nine-year struggle to form an independent Kurdish state, attacked Turkish diplomatic missions and businesses in more than two-dozen European cities on this date in 1993. Hostages were taken and later released in Munich, Germany, and also in Marseille, France. One Kurdish demonstrator was shot to death in Bern, Switzerland.

And on this date in 1986, a jury ruled in favor of actress Raquel Welch, ordering MGM to pay her $10.8 million. Welch had sued the studio, which she claimed ruined her career by firing her from the 1980 movie "Cannery Row."

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 25

The Korean War began on this date in 1950 when forces from northern Korea invaded southern Korea. The United States entered the conflict on June 30. An armistice was signed July 27, 1953, dividing the peninsula into two -- North and South Korea.

The Battle of Little Big Horn took place on this date in 1876. Gen. George Custer and his force of more than 200 men attacked an encampment of Sioux warriors, led by Chief Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, near the Little Big Horn River in Montana. Custer and his troops were annihilated. One horse is said to have been the sole survivor of Custer's forces.

19 U.S. military personnel were killed on this date in 1996 when a truck bomb exploded at a base in Saudi Arabia used by American forces. Several hundred more people were injured.

On this date in 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a prayer read aloud in public schools violated the constitutional separation of church and state. The decision in effect barred prayer in public schools.

What did the president know and when did he know it? It was on this date in 1973 that White House attorney John Dean told a Senate committee that President Nixon had participated in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in.

Oops! It was today back in 1997 that about half of Mir's power supply was knocked out when an unmanned cargo ship collided with the Russian space station and put a hole in it.

And on this date in 1993, Kim Campbell was sworn in as Canada's 19th prime minister and its first woman prime minister. Campbell only served four months -- in the Oct. 25 general elections her party suffered the worst defeat for a governing political party in Canada's history. Campbell lost her seat in the House of Commons -- and her job.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 26.

The St. Lawrence Seaway was formally opened on this date in 1959 in ceremonies held at St. Lambert, Quebec. The waterway - which provides access to the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean - was a joint project of the United States and Canada. President Eisenhower and Britain's Queen Elizabeth took part in the dedication ceremonies.

Six decades earlier, the building of the Panama Canal was being hampered by "yellow fever," or malaria, which sickened and killed the workers. On this date in 1900, Dr. Walter Reed and his medical team began a successful campaign to wipe out the disease in the Panama Canal Zone.

The first U.S. troops committed to World War 1 reached France on this date in 1917.

Forget that "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. On this date in 1990, President Bush reversed course and announced that new taxes were needed as part of budget deficit-reduction package.

Two resignations took place on this date in 1992.

U.S. Navy Secretary Garrett stepped down, accepting responsibility for the so-called "Tailhook" incident involving the harassment of Navy servicewomen by naval aviators.

And Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, the target of public wrath for the Rodney King beating, quit.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 27.

U.S. involvement in the Korean War began on this date in 1950, when President Truman ordered U.S. naval and air forces to help repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea. 54,000 American troops died in the 3-year war.

Napoleon's dream of conquering Egypt was dashed on this date in 1801, when British forces captured Cairo. Despite the defeat and the subsequent French withdrawal from Egypt, Napoleon -- one of the first "spin doctors" -- painted the episode for the folks back home in France as a great victory.

Guess who's coming to dinner? It was on this date in 1992 that the only daughter of Republican President Bush married the former top aide to the House Democratic leader in a private ceremony at Camp David, Md.

And it was on this date in 1859 that Louisville, Ky., schoolteacher Mildred Hill wrote a tune for her students that she called "Good Morning to You." Her sister, Patty, wrote the lyrics and later added a verse that began "Happy birthday to you." The tune remains the world's most popular song.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 28.

It was probably one of the more shocking incidents to occur during an athletic event. On this date in 1997, Mike Tyson bit the ears of heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, tearing off a piece of one ear, during a title fight in Las Vegas.

Two days later, Tyson apologized publicly, saying he'd become angered after Holyfield head-butted him.

Despite the apology, the Nevada State Athletic Commission revoked Tyson's license to fight in the state.

Six-year-old Elian Gonzalez and his father returned to Cuba on this date in 2000, only hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the boy's Miami relatives who sought to keep him in the United States.

Elian was found floating on an inner tube off the southern Florida coast on Thanksgiving Day 1999. His mother, stepfather and several other Cubans had drowned when their boat capsized en route to the United States. The child was turned over to a great uncle who lived in Miami, but U.S. immigration officials later ruled Elian belonged with his father, who had shared custody of the boy with his ex-wife and wanted his son back with him in Cuba.

After several earlier defeats, the Continental Army was finally getting the hang of things when -- on this date in 1778 -- troops under command of Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Monmouth, N.J.

World War I officially ended on this date in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at Versailles, France.

Shoring up the constitutional separation between church and state, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on this date in 1971 that the use of public funds for parochial schools was unconstitutional.

And it was on this date in 1994 that President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, established a legal defense fund to help cover legal expenses that would be connected with the Whitewater investigation and the sexual harassment suit brought against the president.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 29.

It was on this date in 1972 that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the death penalty, ruling it a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S Constitution that bans cruel and unusual punishment. The decision spared the lives of 600 people then sitting on death row in prisons around the nation.

Four years later, on July 2, 1976, the high court overruled itself and determined capital punishment was not unconstitutional, and on Oct. 4, 1976, lifted the ban.

The modern boundaries of the "Lower 48" took shape on this date in 1853, when the U.S. Senate ratified the $10 million Gadsden Purchase from Mexico -- adding more than 29,000 square miles to the territories of Arizona and New Mexico.

The last American troops were withdrawn from Cambodia into South Vietnam on this date in 1970.

In medical news on this date in 1992, doctors in Pittsburgh reported the world's first transplant of a baboon liver into a human patient. The recipient, a 35-year-old man, survived three months.

And in an interview aired on British television on this date in 1994, Prince Charles admitted he'd been unfaithful to his estranged wife, Princess Diana. Like no one didn't know about him and Camilla? Chuck and Di's divorce was finalized in 1996.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is June 30.

Medical technology has advanced to the point where no casualties of war may forever lie unidentified. It was on this date in 1998 that remains from the Vietnam War buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Va., were identified as those of Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie of St. Louis.

It was a sign of things to come. On this date in 1870, Ada Kepley became the first woman to graduate from an accredited law school in the United States: Union College of Law in Chicago.

It was the end of an era: on this date in 1986, Hugh Hefner -- calling his Playboy Bunny a "symbol of the past" -- closed Playboy Clubs in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

The drive to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S Constitution ended on this date in 1982 when the extended deadline for ratification expired -- three states shorts of the 38 needed for passage.

Bad-girl skater Tonya Harding was stripped of her national championship title on this date in 1994. You might remember, Harding had won the title after rival Nancy Kerrigan was whacked on the knee. Harding was later implicated in the attack.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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