Today in History — June 7

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, June 7, the 158th day of 2007. There are 207 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution calling for American independence from Britain.

On this date:
In 1753, Britain’s King George II gave his assent to an Act of Parliament establishing the British Museum.

In 1769, frontiersman Daniel Boone first began to explore the present-day Bluegrass State.

In 1848, French painter Paul Gauguin was born in Paris.

In 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.

In 1937, actress Jean Harlow died in Los Angeles at age 26.

In 1948, the Communists completed their takeover of Czechoslovakia with the resignation of President Edvard Benes.

In 1967, the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened in San Francisco.

In 1967, author-critic Dorothy Parker, famed for her caustic wit, died in New York at age 73.

In 1972, the musical “Grease” opened on Broadway.

In 1981, Israeli military planes destroyed a nuclear power plant in Iraq, a facility the Israelis charged could have been used to make nuclear weapons.

Ten years ago: An 18-member presidential commission approved a report saying that cloning a human being was “morally unacceptable,” but adding that research using cells of humans and animals should be allowed. Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm failed to win horse racing’s Triple Crown, losing the Belmont Stakes to Touch Gold.

Five years ago: A yearlong hostage crisis in the Philippines involving a U.S. missionary couple came to a bloody end as Filipino commandos managed to save only one of the three captives, American Gracia Burnham. Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel was convicted in Norwalk, Conn., of beating Greenwich neighbor Martha Moxley to death when they were 15 in 1975.

One year ago: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed by a U.S. airstrike on his safe house. The U.S. Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director James Ivory is 79. Actress Virginia McKenna is 76. Singer Tom Jones is 67. Poet Nikki Giovanni is 64. Actor Ken Osmond (“Leave It to Beaver”) is 64. Talk show host Jenny Jones is 61. Actress Anne Twomey is 56. Actor Liam Neeson is 55. Actress Colleen Camp is 54. Singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg is 54. Actor William Forsythe is 52. Record producer L.A. Reid is 51. Singer-songwriter Prince is 49. Rock singer-musician Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes) is 44. Rapper Ecstacy (Whodini) is 43. Rock musician Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 41. Rock musician David Navarro is 40. Actress Helen Baxendale is 37. Actor Karl Urban is 35. Rock musician Eric Johnson (The Shins) is 31. Actress Larisa Oleynik is 26. Tennis player Anna Kournikova is 26. Actor Michael Cera is 19. Actress Shelley Buckner is 18.

Thought for Today: “That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: ’Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.”’ — Dorothy Parker, American writer (1893-1967).