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Today in History — June 22

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

Today is Friday, June 22, the 173rd day of 2007. There are 192 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On June 22, 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended with an Allied victory; some 13,000 Americans and 90,000 Japanese soldiers, plus 130,000 civilians, were killed in the nearly three-month campaign.

On this date:

In 1807, a British frigate, the HMS Leopard, attacked and boarded the American ship USS Chesapeake off the Virginia coast in search of Royal Navy deserters.

In 1870, the U.S. Department of Justice was created.

In 1937, Joe Louis began his reign as world heavyweight boxing champion by knocking out Jim Braddock in the eighth round of their fight in Chicago.

In 1938, Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their rematch at Yankee Stadium.

In 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.

In 1944, President Roosevelt signed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the "GI Bill of Rights."

In 1969, singer-actress Judy Garland died in London at age 47.

In 1970, President Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that lowered the minimum voting age to 18.

In 1977, John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. (He was released 19 months later.)

In 1987, actor-dancer Fred Astaire died in Los Angeles at age 88.

Ten years ago: World leaders concluded a historic summit in Denver with Russia's full participation for the first time. Dr. Nancy W. Dickey was named the first female president of the American Medical Association.

Five years ago: An earthquake in northwestern Iran killed at least 500 people. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in the team's Chicago hotel; he was 33. Syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers died in Chicago at age 83.

One year ago: During a visit to Hungary to commemorate the 1956 revolt against communism, President Bush said war-weary Iraqis could learn from the Hungarians' long and bloody struggle against tyranny. The Bush administration confirmed it had gained access to international banking records as part of a classified program to choke off financial support for terrorism. The Red Cross admitted Israel as a member and allowed it to use a star of David as its symbol.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Ralph Waite is 79. Singer-actor Kris Kristofferson is 71. Actor Michael Lerner is 66. Fox News correspondent Brit Hume is 64. Actor Klaus Maria Brandauer is 63. Singer Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon) is 63. Actor Andrew Rubin is 61. Actor David L. Lander is 60. Singer Howard "Eddie" Kaylan is 60. Singer-musician Todd Rundgren is 59. Actress Meryl Streep is 58. Actress Lindsay Wagner is 58. Singer Alan Osmond is 58. Actor Murphy Cross is 57. Actor Graham Greene is 55. Pop singer Cyndi Lauper is 54. Actor Chris Lemmon is 53. Actor Tim Russ is 51. Rock musician Garry Beers (INXS) is 50. Actor-producer-writer Bruce Campbell is 49. Rock musician Alan Anton (Cowboy Junkies) is 48. Actress Tracy Pollan is 47. Rock singer-musician Jimmy Somerville is 46. Author Dan Brown is 43. Rock singer-musician Mike Edwards (Jesus Jones) is 43. Actress Amy Brenneman is 43. Actress Paula Irvine is 39. Rock singer Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies) is 37. Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub is 36. TV personality Carson Daly is 34. Rock musician Chris Traynor (Helmet) is 34. Actor Donald Faison is 33. Actress Alicia Goranson is 33. TV personality-actor Jai Rodriguez is 28. Actress Lindsay Ridgeway is 22.

Thought for Today: "Children are God's spies." _ Elizabeth Bowen, Irish author (1899-1973).