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Today in History — June 19

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

Today is Tuesday, June 19, the 170th day of 2007. There are 195 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 19, 1865, Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all slaves were free. (This event is celebrated as “Juneteenth.”)

On this date:
In 1862, slavery was outlawed in U.S. territories.

In 1910, Father’s Day was celebrated for the first time, in Spokane, Wash.

In 1917, during World War I, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames; the family took the name “Windsor.”

In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created; it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

In 1952, the celebrity-panel game show “I’ve Got A Secret” made its debut on CBS TV with Garry Moore as host.

In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, N.Y.

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved by the Senate, 73-27, after surviving a lengthy filibuster.

In 1977, Pope Paul VI proclaimed a 19th-century Philadelphia bishop, John Neumann, the first male U.S. saint.

In 1982, in a case that galvanized the Asian-American community, Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American, was beaten to death in Highland Park, Mich., by two auto workers who later received probation for manslaughter in state court, and won acquittals in subsequent federal trials.

In 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, the first draft pick of the Boston Celtics, suffered a fatal cocaine-induced seizure.

Ten years ago: President Clinton welcomed world leaders to Denver on the eve of an economic summit. McDonald’s won a libel case in London against two vegetarian activists, even though the judge said he agreed with some of the defendants’ sharpest criticisms of the fast-food giant.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber killed seven Israelis on a Jerusalem bus in the second deadly attack in the city in two days. The space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth with one Russian and two American crewmen who’d spent 6½ months aboard the international space station. Rod Langway, Bernie Federko, Clark Gillies and Roger Neilson were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One year ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned North Korea it would face consequences if it test-fired a missile thought to be powerful enough to reach the West Coast of the United States. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she would send National Guard troops and state police to patrol the streets of New Orleans after a bloody weekend in which six people were killed. The Carolina Hurricanes won their first Stanley Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Gena Rowlands is 77. Singer Al Wilson is 68. Singer Spanky MacFarlane (Spanky and Our Gang) is 65. Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is 62. Actress Phylicia Rashad is 59. Rock singer Ann Wilson (Heart) is 57. Musician Larry Dunn is 54. Actress Kathleen Turner is 53. Country singer Doug Stone is 51. Singer Mark DeBarge is 48. Singer-dancer-“American Idol” judge Paula Abdul is 45. Rock singer-musician Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) is 43. Actor Andy Lauer is 42. Actress Robin Tunney is 35. Actor Bumper Robinson is 33. Actress Poppy Montgomery is 32. Actress Zoe Saldana is 29. Actor Paul Dano is 23.

Thought for Today: “Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.” — Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-1880).