Today is Thursday, June 24, the 176th day of 2004 with 190 to follow.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include French Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, in 1763; clergyman Henry Ward Beecher in 1813; writer and satirist Ambrose Bierce in 1842; heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey in 1895; band leader Phil Harris in 1904; author/editor Norman Cousins in 1912; musician Mick Fleetwood, co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, in 1942 (age 62); actors Michele Lee in 1942 (age 62) and Peter Weller in 1947 (age 57); former Miss America and TV personality Phyllis George in 1949 (age 55); and actress Nancy Allen in 1950 (age 54).
On this date in history:
In 1812, Napoleon's army entered Russia.
In 1901, Pablo Picasso's artwork was given its first exhibition, in Paris.
In 1948, Soviet forces blockaded the western zones of Berlin, setting the stage for the Berlin airlift to support the 2 million people of the divided German city.
In 1975, an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 en route from New Orleans crashed at New York's Kennedy International airport, killing 114 people.
In 1986, actress Raquel Welch won a $10.8 million verdict against MGM, which she claimed ruined her career by firing her from the 1980 movie "Cannery Row."
In 1987, comedian/actor Jackie Gleason died at the age of 71.
In 1991, on the eve of the 41st anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the U.S. and North Korea agreed on returning the remains of missing soldiers; 11 sets of remains were shipped.
In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that health warnings on cigarette packs don't necessarily exempt tobacco companies from false advertising lawsuits if they continue to tell consumers that smoking is safe.
In 1993, the FBI arrested eight men in an alleged plot to bomb several sites in New York City. A ninth was arrested six days later.
Also in 1993, 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. Hostages were taken and later released in Munich, Germany, and also in Marseille, France. One Kurdish demonstrator was shot to death in Bern, Switzerland.
In 1998, AT&T announced plans to acquire Tele-Communications Inc., a cable TV company.
In 2002, President George W. Bush said publicly for the first time that the United States would not support a Palestinian state so long as Yassir Arafat was in command.
-In 2003, author Leon Uris, who wrote "Exodus," the story of the struggle to establish and defend the state of Israel, and other famous novels, died at age 78.
Also in 2003, in just hours, an Arizona wildfire northeast of Tucson grew 57 percent in size to "critical" status, despite the work of nearly 1,000 firefighters.
A thought for the day: Ambrose Bierce said an acquaintance is "A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to."