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Today in history: June 2

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, June 2, the 153rd day of 2006. There are 212 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain was crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.

On this date:
In 1886, President Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony.

In 1897, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying from London that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

In 1924, Congress granted U.S. citizenship to all American Indians.

In 1941, baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig, died in New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In 1946, the Italian monarchy was abolished in favor of a republic.

In 1966, the U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

In 1975, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller said his commission had found no widespread pattern of illegal activities at the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.

In 1986, for the first time, the public could watch the proceedings of the U.S. Senate on television as a six-week experiment of televised sessions began.

In 1995, a U.S. Air Force F-16-C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb surface-to-air missile while on a NATO air patrol in northern Bosnia; the pilot, Capt. Scott F. O’Grady, was rescued six days later.

Ten years ago: “Rent,” “Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk” and “The King and I” dominated the Tony Awards, each winning four prizes.

Five years ago: Nepal’s Crown Prince Dipendra, on life support after killing at least eight members of the royal family, including his parents, before turning the gun on himself, was named king by Nepal’s State Council. Actress-comedian Imogene Coca died in Westport, Conn., at age 92.

One year ago: Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, completing a pledge made under a cease-fire agreement. Closing arguments took place in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial in Santa Maria, Calif. (Jackson was later acquitted.) Georgia “runaway bride” Jennifer Wilbanks pleaded no contest to faking her own abduction; she was sentenced to probation, community service and a fine. Thirteen-year-old Anurag Kashyap won the national spelling bee championship by correctly spelling “appoggiatura,” which refers to an embellishing musical note.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Milo O’Shea is 81. Actor Stacy Keach is 65. Rock musician Charlie Watts is 65. Singer William Guest (Gladys Knight & The Pips) is 65. Actor Charles Haid is 63. Composer Marvin Hamlisch is 62. Movie director Lasse Hallstrom is 60. Actor Jerry Mathers is 58. Actress Joanna Gleason is 56. Actor Dennis Haysbert is 52. Comedian Dana Carvey is 51. Actor Gary Grimes is 51. Rock singer Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) is 46. Singer Merril Bainbridge is 38. Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) is 36. Actress Paula Cale is 36. Actor-comedian Wayne Brady is 34. Actor Wentworth Miller is 34. Rock musician Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) is 30. Actress Nikki Cox is 28. Actor Justin Long is 28. Actor Deon Richmond is 28. Rhythm-and-blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) is 26. Rock musician Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes) is 26. Country singer Dan Cahoon (Marshall Dyllon) is 23.

Thought for Today: “There is a Law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few hundred years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish.” — Alfred Alder, Austrian psychoanalyst (1870-1937).