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Today in history: June 8

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

Today is Thursday, June 8, the 159th day of 2006. There are 206 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 8, A.D. 632, the prophet Mohammed died.

On this date:
In 1845, Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union.

In 1876, author George Sand died in Nohant, France.

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt offered to act as a mediator in the Russo-Japanese War.

In 1915, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in a disagreement over U.S. handling of the sinking of the Lusitania.

In 1953, the Supreme Court ruled that restaurants in the District of Columbia could not refuse to serve blacks.

In 1966, a merger was announced between the National and American Football Leagues, to take effect in 1970.

In 1967, 34 U.S. servicemen were killed when Israeli forces raided the Liberty, a Navy ship stationed in the Mediterranean. (Israel called the attack a tragic mistake.)

In 1968, authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

In 1978, a jury in Clark County, Nevada, ruled the so-called “Mormon will,” purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery.

Ten years ago: Declaring racial hostility was behind recent church fires in the South, President Clinton said in his weekly radio address he would devote whatever resources were needed to “smother the fires of hatred.” China set off an underground nuclear test blast. “Editor’s Note” won the Belmont Stakes.

Five years ago: A knife-wielding man killed eight children at a Japanese elementary school. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party swept to a second term, winning re-election by a crushing margin.

One year ago: The Senate confirmed California judge Janice Rogers Brown for the federal appeals court, ending a two-year battle. Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, the late Valeri Kharlamov and Murray Costello were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Today’s Birthdays: Former President Suharto of Indonesia is 85. Former First Lady Barbara Bush is 81. Actor-comedian Jerry Stiller is 79. Comedian Joan Rivers is 73. Actress Millicent Martin is 72. Actor James Darren is 70. Actor Bernie Casey is 67. Singer Nancy Sinatra is 66. Singer Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night) is 64. Musician Boz Scaggs is 62. Actor Don Grady is 62. Rock musician Mick Box (Uriah Heep) is 59. Author Sara Paretsky is 59. Actress Sonia Braga is 56. Actress Kathy Baker is 56. Country musician Tony Rice is 55. Singer Bonnie Tyler is 53. Actor Griffin Dunne is 51. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams is 49. Actor-director Keenen Ivory Wayans is 48. Singer Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) is 46. Musician Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Doris Pearson (Five Star) is 40. Actress Julianna Margulies is 39. Actor Dan Futterman is 39. Actor David Sutcliffe is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nicci Gilbert is 36. Actress Kelli Williams is 36. Actor Mark Feuerstein is 35. Contemporary Christian musician Mike Scheuchzer (MercyMe) is 31. Rapper Kanye West is 28. Folk-bluegrass singer-musician Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) is 25.

Thought for Today: “Malice drinks one-half of its own poison.” — Seneca, Roman statesman (circa 5 B.C.-A.D. 65).