Today is Wednesday, June 24, the 175th day of 2014 with 190 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include clergyman Henry Ward Beecher in 1813; writer/satirist Ambrose Bierce in 1842; heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey in 1895; basketball player/shoe designer Chuck Taylor in 1901, band leader Phil Harris in 1904; British astronomer Fred Hoyle in 1915; author/editor Norman Cousins in 1915; golf Hall of Fame member Billy Casper in 1931; basketball Hall of Fame member Sam Jones in 1933 (age 82); actor Michele Lee in 1942 (age 73); guitarist Jeff Beck in 1944 (age 71); actor Peter Weller in 1947 (age 68); drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1947 (age 68); actor Nancy Allen in 1950 (age 61); Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, four-time FIFA World Player of the Year, in 1987 (age 28).
On this date in history:
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 113 people. There were 11 survivors.
In 1986, Raquel Welch won a $10.8 million verdict against MGM, which she said 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 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 2009, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. (He resigned as chairman of the GOP governors association but stayed on as governor and was later elected to Congress.)
In 2010, John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut in a first-round match played over three days at Wimbledon. The match -- longest in pro-tennis history -- took 11 hours, 5 minutes and 183 games to decide a winner.
In 2011, New York state legislators approved same-sex marriage. (Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who pushed for the proposal, promptly signed it into law.)
In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was elected president of Egypt. (The military removed him from the office in 2013 and he was later sentenced to death for his role in a mass prison break in 2011.)
In 2014, a United Methodist Church appeals committee reinstated Frank Schaefer, a former Pennsylvania pastor who had been stripped of his religious credentials because he presided at the wedding of his gay son.
A thought for the day: "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." -- Fred Rogers