updated 5/30/2006 12:03:28 AM ET 2006-05-30T04:03:28

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

On this date:

In 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed in Florida.

In 1854, the territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.

In 1883, 12 people were trampled to death when a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in imminent danger of collapsing triggered a stampede.

In 1911, Indianapolis saw its first long-distance auto race; Ray Harroun was the winner.

In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington by Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

In 1943, American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.

In 1958, unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflict were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1971, the American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on a journey to Mars.

In 1981, the president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.

In 1986, 21 elderly passengers were killed when a tour bus went out of control on a mountain road and plunged into the Walker River near the California-Nevada border.

Ten years ago: The House called off a contempt-of-Congress vote after President Clinton’s aides turned over 1,000 pages of papers and a long-sought list of documents in the travel office firings. Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.

Five years ago: Standing among trees in Sequoia National Park in California, President Bush pledged to protect “these works of God” and other natural treasures from mankind. Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas was convicted of corruption and sentenced to six months in prison. Moses Malone and college coaches Mike Krzyzewski and John Chaney entered the Basketball Hall of Fame.

One year ago: Quoting letters of the fallen from the war in Iraq, President Bush vowed to a Memorial Day audience at Arlington National Cemetery that America would honor its dead by striving for peace and democracy, no matter the cost. American teenager Natalee Holloway, during a visit to Aruba, was last seen leaving a bar with three young men before disappearing; her fate remains unknown. Officials in Lebanon announced that Saad Hariri, the son of assassinated former premier Rafik Hariri, had swept parliamentary elections in Beirut.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Johnny Gimble is 80. Actor Clint Walker is 79. Actor Keir Dullea is 70. Actress Ruta Lee is

70. Actor Michael J. Pollard is 67. Actor Stephen Tobolowsky is 55. Actor Colm Meaney is 53. Actor Ted McGinley is 48. Actor Ralph Carter is 45. Actress Tonya Pinkins is 44. Country singer Wynonna is 42. Rock musician Tom Morello (Audioslave) is 42. Movie director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) is 41. Rock musician Patrick Dahlheimer (Live) is 35. Actress Idina Menzel is 35. Actor Trey Parker is 34. Rapper Cee-Lo is 32. Actor Blake Bashoff is 25.

Thought for Today: “Only the man who finds everything wrong and expects it to get worse is thought to have a clear brain.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist (1908-2006).

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