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Today in history: June 30

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

Today is Friday, June 30, the 181st day of 2006. There are 184 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 30, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.

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

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 1963, Pope Paul VI was crowned the 262nd head of the Roman Catholic Church.

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

In 1986, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults (however, the nation’s highest court effectively overturned this decision in 2003).

Ten years ago: President Clinton paid tribute to the 19 killed and hundreds wounded in the truck bomb attack in Saudi Arabia as he attended memorial services at Eglin Air Force Base and Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic responded to international pressure to step aside by handing his powers to an equally nationalist deputy.

Five years ago: Doctors implanted a dual-purpose pacemaker in Vice President Dick Cheney’s chest. President Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at Camp David. A NASA observatory rocketed into space on a mission to scan the universe for the faint afterglow of Creation. Guitarist Chet Atkins died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 77. Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson died in San Francisco at age 64.

One year ago: Federal Reserve policymakers boosted the federal funds rate by a quarter-point to 3.25 percent, the ninth such consecutive increase. Spain became the third country to legalize gay marriage.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Lena Horne is 89. Actor Tony Musante is 70. Actress Nancy Dussault is 70. Singer Glenn Shorrock is 62. Jazz musician Stanley Clarke is 55. Actor David Garrison is 54. Rock musician Hal Lindes (Dire Straits) is 53. Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 51. Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is 47. Actor Rupert Graves is 43. Boxer Mike Tyson is 40. Rock musician Tom Drummond (Better Than Ezra) is 37. Actor Brian Bloom is 36. Actor Brian Vincent is 36. Actress Monica Potter is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Fantasia (“American Idol”) is 22.

Thought for Today: “The good Lord set definite limits on man’s wisdom, but set no limits on his stupidity — and that’s not fair!” — Konrad Adenauer, German statesman (1876-1967).