updated 6/9/2006 12:06:07 AM ET 2006-06-09T04:06:07

Today is Friday, June 9, the 160th day of 2006. There are 205 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 9, A.D. 68, the Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide.

On this date:
In 1870, author Charles Dickens died in Godshill, England.

In 1940, Norway surrendered to the Nazis during World War II.

In 1953, about 100 people died when a tornado struck Worcester, Massachusetts.

In 1954, during the Senate-Army Hearings, Army special counsel Joseph N. Welch asked Senator Joseph R. McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

In 1969, the U.S. Senate confirmed Warren Burger to be the new chief justice of the United States, succeeding Earl Warren.

In 1973, “Secretariat” became horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning the Belmont Stakes.

In 1978, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints struck down a 148-year-old policy of excluding black men from the Mormon priesthood.

In 1980, comedian Richard Pryor suffered almost fatal burns at his San Fernando Valley, California, home when a mixture of “free-base” cocaine exploded.

In 1985, American educator Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon; he was released in November 1991 along with fellow hostage Terry Waite.

In 1986, the Rogers Commission released its report on the Challenger disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.

Ten years ago: White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said it was wrong for an investigator to have obtained secret FBI files on 341 people, including prominent Republicans, and President Clinton agreed with Panetta that an apology was called for.

Five years ago: China and the United States announced an agreement on farm subsidies and other remaining issues blocking Beijing’s bid to join the World Trade Organization. The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup by defeating the defending champion New Jersey Devils 3-to-1 in game seven. Jennifer Capriati beat Kim Clijsters 1-6, 6-4, 12-10, to win the French Open. “Point Given” won the Belmont Stakes.

One year ago: President Bush defended the USA Patriot Act, saying it had made America safer and should be made permanent. Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni was freed after having been held hostage more than three weeks in Afghanistan.

Today’s Birthdays: Guitarist Les Paul is 91. Former World Bank president and former defense secretary Robert S. McNamara is 90. Actress Mona Freeman is 80. Media analyst Marvin Kalb is 76. Sports commentator Dick Vitale is 67. Author Letty Cottin Pogrebin is 67. Rock musician Jon Lord is 65. Mystery author Patricia Cornwell is 50. Actor Michael J. Fox is 45. Writer-producer Aaron Sorkin is 45. Actor Johnny Depp is 43. Jazz musician Wayman Tisdale is 42. Actress Gloria Reuben is 42. Rock musician Dean Felber (Hootie & the Blowfish) is 39. Rock musician Dean Dinning is 39. Musician Ed Simons is 36. Actress Natalie Portman is 25. Actress Mae Whitman is 18.

Thought for Today: “The public! the public! How many fools does it take to make up a public?” — Nicolas Chamford, French writer (1740-1794).

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