The Almanac

June 17, 2007 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, June 17, the 168th day of 2007 with 197 to follow.

This is Father's Day in the United States.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Mars, Neptune and Uranus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

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; actor Ralph Bellamy in 1904; author John Hersey in 1914; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., in 1943 (age 64); singer Barry Manilow in 1946 (age 61); comedian Joe Piscopo in 1951 (age 56); actors Mark Linn-Baker ("Perfect Strangers") in 1954 (age 53) and Greg Kinnear in 1963 (age 44); speedskater-turned-sportscaster Dan Jansen in 1965 (age 42); and tennis star Venus Williams in 1980 (age 27).

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In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk ended apartheid when he repealed the Population Registration Act that classified South Africans by race from birth.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' captivity in Lebanon.

In 1993, U.N. troops stormed the headquarters of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid in Mogadishu but he was not there.

In 1994, Los Angeles police charged O.J. Simpson with killing his ex-wife and her friend. The former football star and actor was later acquitted in a controversial, high-profile 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.

And in 1994, the United States played host for the first time to the World Cup soccer tournament.

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 gay 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, al-Qaida had plans for a poison gas attack in the New York subway system, a new book, "The One Percent Doctrine," claimed.

Also 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.

A thought for the day: Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

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