Today in History

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Posted: Jun 17, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Friday, June 17, the 168th day of 2011. There are 197 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 17, 1775, the Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston. The battle (actually on Breed's Hill) proved a costly victory for the British, who suffered heavy losses.

On this date:

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor aboard the French ship Isere (ee-SEHR').

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which boosted U.S. tariffs to historically high levels, prompting foreign retaliation.

In 1940, France asked Germany for terms of surrender in World War II.

In 1944, the republic of Iceland was established.

In 1957, mob underboss Frank Scalice was shot to death at a produce market in the Bronx, N.Y.

In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West while his troupe was in Paris.

In 1971, the United States and Japan signed a treaty under which Okinawa would revert from American to Japanese control the following year, with the U.S. allowed to maintain military bases there. President Richard M. Nixon declared a "war" against drug abuse in America in a message to Congress.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon's eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate complex.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced the retirement of Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was succeeded by William Rehnquist. Singer Kate Smith died in Raleigh, N.C., at age 79.

In 1991, the remains of President Zachary Taylor were briefly exhumed in Louisville, Ky., to test a theory that Taylor had died of arsenic poisoning (results showed death was from natural causes).

Ten years ago: Texas Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill to ban the execution of mentally retarded death row inmates, saying the state already had numerous safeguards in place to protect them.

Five years ago: Officials in Chechnya reported police had killed rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev by acting on a tip from within his network.

One year ago: BP chief executive Tony Hayward told a congressional hearing he was "deeply sorry" for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but infuriated lawmakers as he disclaimed knowledge of any of the myriad problems leading up to the disaster. Israel agreed to ease its three-year-old land blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Los Angeles Lakers rallied in Game 7, defeating the Boston Celtics 83-79 to repeat as NBA champions.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Peter Lupus is 79. Actor William Lucking is 70. Singer Barry Manilow is 68. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 60. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 57. Musician Philip Chevron (The Pogues) is 54. Actor Jon Gries (gryz) is 54. Movie producer-director-writer Bobby Farrelly is 53. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 50. Actor Greg Kinnear is 48. Actress Kami Cotler (TV: "The Waltons") is 46. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 46. Actor Jason Patric is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kevin Thornton is 42. Actor-comedian Will Forte is 41. Latin pop singer Paulina Rubio is 40. Tennis player Venus Williams is 31. Actor-rapper Herculeez (AKA Jamal Mixon) is 28. Actor Damani Roberts is 15.

Thought for Today: "When all men think alike, no one thinks very much." _ Walter Lippmann, American journalist (1889-1974).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, June 17)

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