Today in History

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Tuesday, June 14, the 165th day of 2011. There are 200 days left in the year. This is Flag Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag.

On this date:

In 1775, the Continental Army, forerunner of the United States Army, was created.

In 1801, former American Revolutionary War General and notorious turncoat Benedict Arnold died in London.

In 1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," was born in Litchfield, Conn.

In 1911, the British ocean liner RMS Olympic set out on its maiden voyage for New York, arriving one week later. (The ship's captain was Edward John Smith, who went on to command the ill-fated RMS Titanic the following year.)

In 1940, German troops entered Paris during World War II; the same day, the Nazis began transporting prisoners to the Auschwitz (OWSH'-vitz) concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.

In 1943, the Supreme Court, in West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, ruled that children in public schools could not be forced to salute the flag of the United States.

In 1954, the words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1967, the space probe Mariner 5 was launched from Cape Kennedy on a flight that took it past Venus.

In 1985, the 17-day hijack ordeal of TWA Flight 847 began as a pair of Lebanese Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) Muslim extremists seized the jetliner shortly after takeoff from Athens, Greece.

In 1986, death claimed Broadway librettist Alan Jay Lerner in New York at age 67; Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges in Geneva at age 86; and "Wild Kingdom" host Marlin Perkins in suburban St. Louis at age 81.

Ten years ago: The Bush administration announced the Navy would end its bombing exercises on Vieques Island off the coast of Puerto Rico by May 2003. President George W. Bush sparred with European leaders in Sweden over climate change, unwavering in his opposition to a global warming treaty. Mike Gartner, Jari Kurri, Vyacheslav Fetisov (vee-AHCH'-eh-slahv feh-TEE'-sahv) and Dale Hawerchuk were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush, just back from a surprise visit to Iraq, dismissed calls for a U.S. withdrawal as election-year politics and refused to give a timetable or benchmark for success that would allow troops to come home.

One year ago: During his latest visit to the Gulf Coast, President Barack Obama promised that "things are going to return to normal" and that the region's fouled waters would be in even better shape than before the catastrophic BP oil spill. Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby pleaded guilty in Stockton, Calif., to kidnapping and murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and was sentenced to prison for the rest of her life.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Marla Gibbs is 80. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 72. Writer Peter Mayle is 72. Actor Jack Bannon is 71. Country-rock musician Spooner Oldham is 68. Rock singer Rod Argent (The Zombies; Argent) is 66. Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump is 65. Singer Janet Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 65. Rock musician Barry Melton is 64. Rock musician Alan White (Yes) is 62. Actor Eddie Mekka is 59. Actor Will Patton is 57. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Eric Heiden (HY'-dun) is 53. Singer Boy George is 50. Rock musician Chris DeGarmo is 48. Actress Traylor Howard is 45. Actress Yasmine Bleeth is 43. Actor Faizon Love is 43. Tennis player Steffi Graf is 42. Screenwriter Diablo Cody (Film: "Juno") is 33. Actor-singer Kevin McHale (TV: "Glee") is 23. Actress Lucy Hale is 22. Actor Daryl Sabara is 19.

Thought for Today: "Hope is a pleasant acquaintance, but an unsafe friend." _ Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canadian jurist and humorist (1796-1865).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, June 14)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.