Today in History - June 26
Today is Friday, June 26, the 177th day of 2009. There are 188 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he expressed solidarity with the city's residents by declaring: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner).
On this date:
In 1870, the first section of Atlantic City's Boardwalk was opened to the public in New Jersey.
In 1919, the New York Daily News was first published.
In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.
In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower joined Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway. Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson knocked out Floyd Patterson in the third round of their match at New York's Yankee Stadium to win the heavyweight title.
In 1973, former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an "enemies list" kept by the Nixon White House.
In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tenn.
In 1988, three people were killed when a new Airbus A320 jetliner carrying more than 130 people crashed into a forest during an air show demonstration flight in Mulhouse, France.
In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty may be imposed for murderers who committed their crimes as young as age 16, and for mentally retarded killers as well.
Ten years ago: An advance contingent of Russian troops flew into Kosovo to help reopen a strategic airport and join an uneasy alliance with NATO peacekeepers.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush won support from the 25-nation European Union for an initial agreement to help train Iraq's armed forces. A memorial service was held in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., for Paul M. Johnson Jr., an engineer slain by kidnappers in Saudi Arabia.
One year ago: The Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia as it affirmed, 5-4, that an individual right to gun ownership existed. Juan Alvarez, who triggered a 2005 rail disaster in Glendale, Calif., by parking an SUV on the tracks, was convicted of 11 counts of first-degree murder. (Alvarez was later sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms.)
Today's Birthdays: Actress Eleanor Parker is 87. Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 75. Actor Josef Sommer is 75. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 69. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 66. Actor Clive Francis is 63. R&B singer Brenda Holloway is 63. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 59. Actor Robert Davi is 56. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 54. Actor Gedde Watanabe is 54. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 53. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 52. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 48. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 46. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 40. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 39. Actor Sean Hayes is 39. Actor Matt Letscher is 39. Actor Chris O'Donnell is 39. Actress Rebecca Budig is 36. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is 35. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 35. Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Chad Clifton is 33. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 30. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 30. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 29. Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams is 25. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 23. Actress-singer Jennette McCurdy is 17.
Thought for Today: "When I was a young man I vowed never to marry until I found the ideal woman. Well, I found her -- but, alas, she was waiting for the perfect man." -- Robert Schuman, French statesman (1886-1963).