updated 6/30/2005 1:44:03 PM ET 2005-06-30T17:44:03

Today is Thursday, June 30, the 181st day of 2005. There are 184 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 30, 1963, Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.

On this date:
In 1859, French acrobat Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched.

In 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act became law.

In 1921, President Harding appointed former President Taft chief justice of the United States.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler began his “blood purge” of political and military leaders in Germany.

In 1936, the novel “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell was published in New York.

In 1952, “The Guiding Light,” a popular radio program, made its TV debut on CBS.

In 1971, a Soviet space mission ended in tragedy when three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11 were found dead inside their spacecraft after it had returned to Earth.

In 1971, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18, was ratified as Ohio became the 38th state to approve it.

In 1984, John Turner was sworn in as Canada’s 17th prime minister, succeeding Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

In 1985, 39 American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held 17 days.

Ten years ago: In a stunning Kremlin purge, Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired three top security ministers for the botched handling of a bloody hostage-taking by Chechen rebels in southern Russia. President Clinton, speaking in Chicago, proposed an even tighter ban on armor-piercing handgun ammunition known as “cop-killer” bullets. Actor Gale Gordon died in Escondido, Calif., at age 89.

Five years ago: Nine people died in a crush of fans during a rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark. An Arkansas Supreme Court committee sued President Clinton to strip him of his law license. (Clinton later agreed to pay a fine and give up his law license for five years.)

One year ago: A federal appeals court approved an antitrust settlement Microsoft had negotiated with the Justice Department. The Iraqis took legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 of his top lieutenants, a first step toward the ousted dictator’s expected trial for crimes against humanity. After nearly seven years of travel, the international Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn’s orbit.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Lena Horne is 88. Actor Tony Musante is 69. Actress Nancy Dussault is 69. Singer Glenn Shorrock is 61. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 54. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 52. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 50. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 46. Actor Rupert Graves is 42. Boxer Mike Tyson is 39. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 36. Actor Brian Bloom is 35. Actor Brian Vincent is 35. Actress Monica Potter is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Fantasia (“American Idol”) is 21.

Thought for Today: “Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, English dramatist (1855-1934).

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