Today is Sunday, June 24, the 176th day of 2012. There are 190 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On June 24, 1982, a British Airways Boeing 747 with 262 people aboard experienced the failure of all four engines at an altitude of 37,000 feet while passing through volcanic ash generated by Mount Galunggung in Indonesia. (By the time the crew was able to restart the engines, the jumbo jet had glided down to 12,000 feet before making a safe emergency landing in Jakarta.)
On this date
In 1314, the forces of Scotland’s King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.
In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.
In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.
In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Va., indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted).
In 1908, the 22nd and 24th presidents of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71.
In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.
In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift. The Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, nominated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey for president.
In 1968, “Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington D.C., was closed down by authorities.
In 1975, 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1987, comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Lauderhill, Fla., at age 71.
In 1992, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
Ten years ago
President George W. Bush urged the Palestinians to replace Yasser Arafat with leaders “not compromised by terror” and adopt democratic reforms that could produce an independent state within three years. The Supreme Court ruled that juries, not judges, must decide whether a convicted killer lives or dies. A train crash in central Tanzania killed at least 288 people.
Five years ago
Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein’s cousin known as “Chemical Ali,” and two other ex-officials were sentenced by the Iraqi High Tribunal to hang for slaughtering up to 180,000 Kurdish men, women and children two decades earlier. Charles W. Lindberg, one of the U.S. Marines who raised the first of two American flags over Iwo Jima during World War II, died in Edina, Minn., at age 86.
Page 2 of 2 - One year ago
A defiant U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to deny President Barack Obama the authority to wage war against Libya, but Republicans fell short in an effort to actually cut off funds for the operation. New York State legalized same-sex marriage. A truck-tractor hauling two side-dump trailers ran into a 12-car Amtrak passenger train at a crossing in the Nevada desert, killing six people, including the truck driver.
Actor Al Molinaro is 93.
Comedian Jack Carter is 89.
Actress Michele Lee is 70.
Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 69.
Rock musician Jeff Beck is 68.
Singer Arthur Brown is 68.
Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 67.
Musician Mick Fleetwood is 65.
Actor Peter Weller is 65.
Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 63.
Actress Nancy Allen is 62.
Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 62.
Actor Joe Penny is 56.
Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 55.
Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 53.
Rock singer Curt Smith is 51.
Actress Danielle Spencer is 47.
Actress Sherry Stringfield is 45.
Singer Glenn Medeiros is 42.
Actress-producer Mindy Kaling is 33.
Actress Minka Kelly is 32.
Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 26.
Singer Solange Knowles is 26.
Thought for Today
“If you have it and you know you have it, then you have it. If you have it and don’t know you have it, you don’t have it. If you don’t have it but you think you have it, then you have it.” — Jackie Gleason (1916-1987).