UPI Almanac for Friday, June 27, 2014

A historic space mission, Tony Blair steps down, Blagojevich convicted ... on this date in history.
By United Press International  |  June 27, 2014 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Friday, June 27, 178th day of 2014 with 187 to follow.

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

Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include Irish patriot Charles Stewart Parnell in 1846; anarchist Emma Goldman in 1869; poet Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872; blind and deaf author Helen Keller in 1880; billiards champion Willie Mosconi in 1913; "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan in 1927; H. Ross Perot in 1930 (age 84); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bruce Johnston (the Beach Boys) in 1942 (age 72); fashion designers Norma Kamali in 1945 (age 69) and Vera Wang in 1949 (age 65); actors Julia Duffy in 1951 (age 63), Isabelle Adjani in 1955 (age 59), Christian Kane in 1974 (age 40) and Tobey Maguire in 1975 (age 39); film and television writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams in 1966 (age 48); and TV celebrity Khloe Kardashian in 1984 (age 30).

On this date in history:

In 1829, English scientist James Smithson left a will that eventually funded 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 1950, U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered 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.

In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a historic mission to dock with the Russian space station Mir.

In 2001, screen legend Jack Lemmon died at the age of 76.

In 2003, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission opened a long-awaited nationwide registry for people who want to block unwanted telemarketing calls.

In 2005, Dennis Rader, the so-called "BTK" (bind, torture, kill) killer, pleaded guilty to 10 slayings in the Wichita, Kan., area. (He was sentenced to life in prison.)

In 2007, Tony Blair officially stepped down as British prime minister when he submitted his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II. He was succeeded by Gordon Brown.

In 2009, a top health official said the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, killed 127 people of the more than 1 million infected in the United States. About 3,000 were reported hospitalized.

In 2011, a federal court jury in Chicago convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 felony corruption charges that included trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after the 2008 presidential election. (Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.)

In 2012, Tanzanian Deputy Interior Minister Pereira Silima said about 42 migrants died of asphyxiation riding in a truck packed with more than 120 people.

In 2013, Kevin Rudd was sworn in as Australia's prime minister for the second time in three years, regaining the post after defeating Julia Gillard in a Labor Party leadership vote. (He then resigned in September after the party was defeated.)

A thought for the day: "Without a strong educational system, democracy is crippled. Knowledge is not only key to power, it is the citadel of human freedom." -- Harry S. Truman

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