Today is Friday, June 24, the 175th day of 2011 with 190 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury and Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mars and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include 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; astronomer Fred Hoyle and author/editor Norman Cousins, both in 1915; rock 'n' roll Hall of Fame members Jeff Beck in 1944 (age 67) and Mick Fleetwood in 1947 (age 64); actors Michele Lee in 1942 (age 69), Peter Weller in 1947 (age 64) and Nancy Allen in 1950 (age 61).
On this date in history:
In 1812, Napoleon's army entered Russia.
In 1901, Pablo Picasso's artwork had 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, actor 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 United States 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, 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.
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.
In 2004, more than 100 people died in a series of apparently well-coordinated insurgency attacks on five cities in Iraq.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the nation's second confirmed case of mad cow disease.
In 2006, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected a White House request to send another 1,500 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to protect against illegal immigration. The state earlier had agreed to send 1,000 troops to the border.
In 2007, at least 200 people killed by gale-force winds and rain in the coastal city of Karachi in southern Pakistan.
In 2008, a survivor of a Philippines ferry that capsized in a typhoon told authorities the captain's order to abandon ship came too late to help many of the 849 passengers and crew. Philippines officials said 57 passengers were found alive in the three days following the storm.
In 2009, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford became the second prominent Republican within the month to admit to an extramarital affair. After confessing to an affair with a woman in Argentina, he resigned as chairman of the national GOP governors association but stayed on as governor.
In 2010, the Chinese government announced it would untie the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he hoped the move would increase consumption.
Also in 2010, Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia's first female prime minister.
And, a U.S. federal jury said Philadelphia had violated a local Boy Scouts chapter's free speech rights by threatening eviction over the organization's ban of gay members.
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."