updated 6/24/2005 12:01:59 AM ET 2005-06-24T04:01:59

Today is Friday, June 24, the 175th day of 2005. There are 190 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 24, 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the massive Berlin Airlift.

On this date:
In 1314, the forces of Scotland’s King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England.

In 1647, Margaret Brent, a niece of Lord Baltimore, was ejected from the Maryland Assembly after demanding a place and vote in that governing body.

In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.

In 1908, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71.

In 1915, more than 800 people died when the excursion steamer Eastland capsized at Chicago’s Clark Street dock.

In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.

In 1968, Resurrection City, a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C., was closed down by authorities.

In 1975, 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In 1985, a federal judge in New York found former Wall Street Journal reporter R. Foster Winans guilty of illegally using his position at the paper in a get-rich-quick insider-trading scheme. (Winans served eight years in federal prison.)

Ten years ago: In his weekly radio address, President Clinton blamed the failed nomination of Dr. Henry Foster to be surgeon general on right-wing extremists who, he said, would “stop at nothing” to outlaw abortion. The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup as they completed a sweep of the Detroit Red Wings.

Five years ago: Revising an earlier plan, President Clinton proposed using $58 billion from the growing budget surplus to help senior citizens pay for prescription drugs in 2002. After months of political violence, Zimbabweans crowded polling booths in the country’s most competitive election since independence.

One year ago: Federal investigators questioned President Bush for more than an hour in connection with the news leak of a CIA operative’s name. A federal appeals court struck down a Federal Communications Commission effort to make sweeping changes in media ownership rules. In a bizarre conclusion to a huge upset, the chair umpire called the wrong score in the second tiebreaker, and Venus Williams fell 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) to Karolina Sprem in the second round at Wimbledon.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Al Molinaro is 86. Comedian Jack Carter is 82. Movie director Claude Chabrol is 75. Actress Michele Lee is 63. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 63. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 62. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 61. Singer Arthur Brown is 61. New York Gov. George Pataki is 60. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 60. Actor Peter Weller is 58. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 56. Actress Nancy Allen is 55. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 55. Actor Joe Penny is 49. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 48. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 46. Rock singer Curt Smith is 44. Actress Danielle Spencer is 40. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 38. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 35. Singer Solange Knowles is 19.

Thought for Today: “There is a way to look at the past. Don’t hide from it. It will not catch you if you don’t repeat it.” — Pearl Bailey, American singer and actress (1918-1990).

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