Today is Friday, June 27, the 179th day of 2008 with 187 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 Cancer. They include King Charles XII, Charles the Great, of Sweden in 1682; Irish patriot Charles Stewart Parnell in 1846; poet Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872; blind and deaf author Helen Keller in 1880; "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan in 1927; H. Ross Perot in 1930 (age 78); fashion designer Norma Kamali in 1945 (age 63); and actors Julia Duffy in 1951 (age 57), Isabelle Adjani in 1955 (age 53), Jason Patric in 1966 (age 42), Christian Kane ("Angel") in 1974 (age 34) and Tobey Maguire in 1975 (age 33).
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 leaves a will that eventually funds 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.
Also in 1991, South Africa announced it would sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and agree not to develop nuclear weapons.
In 1992, U.S. President George H.W. Bush's only daughter married the former top aide to the House Democratic leader in a private ceremony at Camp David, Md.
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, Wal-Mart heir John Walton, 58, one of America's richest men, was killed in a plane crash near the Jackson, Wyo., airport.
Also in 2005, U.S. crude oil prices closed at a record $60 a barrel.
And, 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.
Also in 2007, gasoline rationing was introduced in Iran despite its status as the second highest OPEC crude oil producer. Iran has minimal refining capacity and reportedly must import about 40 percent of its refined gasoline.
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."