Today is Friday, June 20, the 172nd day of 2008 with 194 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus. The evening stars are Venus, Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include author-playwright Lillian Hellman in 1905; actor Errol Flynn in 1909; World War II hero Audie Murphy in 1924; actors Martin Landau and Olympia Dukakis, both in 1931 (age 77), Danny Aiello in 1933 (age 75) and John Mahoney ("Frasier") in 1940 (age 68); songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in 1942 (age 66); singer Anne Murray in 1945 (age 63); TV handyman Bob Vila and concert pianist Andre Watts, both in 1946 (age 62); singer Lionel Richie in 1949 (age 59); actor John Goodman in 1952 (age 56); and actors Nicole Kidman in 1967 (age 41) and Michael Landon Jr. in 1964 (age 44).
On this date in history:
In 1893, a jury in Fall River, Mass., found Lizzy Borden not guilty in the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
In 1898, the U.S. Navy seized Guam, the largest of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, during the Spanish-American War. The people of Guam were granted U.S. citizenship in 1950.
In 1900, in response to widespread foreign encroachment upon China's national affairs, Chinese nationalists launched the so-called Boxer Rebellion in Beijing.
In 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to establish a hot line communications link between Washington and Moscow.
In 1967, the American Independent Party was formed to back George Wallace of Alabama for president.
In 1977, oil began to flow through the $7.7 billion, 789-mile Alaska pipeline.
In 1990, U.S. President George H.W. Bush broke off U.S. diplomatic contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization after the PLO refused to act against a factional leader who plotted to attack Israel.
Also in 1990, South African nationalist Nelson Mandela began a triumphant U.S. fundraising tour in New York.
In 1991, the German parliament voted to move its capital from Bonn to Berlin.
In 1994, O.J. Simpson pleaded "100 percent not guilty" to charges he killed his ex-wife and her friend.
In 1995, a military court acquitted Air Force Capt. James Wang of charges in the April 1994 downing of two U.S Army helicopters over Iraq. He was the senior director of an AWACS plane that failed to warn two U.S. jets that the choppers were friendly.
In 1997, four major U.S. tobacco companies and several state attorneys general, after months of negotiations, agreed to a $368.5 billion settlement to recover the costs of smoking-related illnesses.
In 1999, NATO formally ended its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia as Serb forces completed their withdrawal from Kosovo.
In 2000, Taiwan's new president invited his Chinese counterpart to take part in a peace effort similar to one begun by North and South Korea.
In 2003, a top lieutenant to Saddam Hussein told U.S. interrogators that the Iraqi leader and his two sons survived the war in Iraq. Saddam was later captured and, in a separate incident, his sons killed in a raid.
Also in 2003, up to 200 illegal immigrants were feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia on its way to Italy.
In 2004, Pakistan and India reached agreement on banning nuclear testing.
In 2006, former White House official David Saravian was convicted on four counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice in dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
In 2007, U.S. President George Bush blocked legislation to permit federal funding for stem cell studies for a second time. He vetoed a new proposal to lift restrictions on funding for the research.
Also in 2007, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the military to allow the evacuation of busloads of fleeing Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
A thought for the day: Plutarch felt that "Character is simply habit long continued."