IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History — June 24

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

Today is Sunday, June 24, the 175th day of 2007. There are 190 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 24, 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the massive Berlin Airlift.

On this date:

In 1314, the forces of Scotland’s King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England.

In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.

In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Va., indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor. He was later acquitted.

In 1908, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71.

In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.

In 1968, Resurrection City, a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington, D.C., was closed down by authorities.

In 1975, 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1987, comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at age 71.

Ten years ago: In Freehold, N.J., 18-year-old Melissa Drexler, who gave birth during her prom, pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of her baby. (Drexler later pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter, and served three years in prison.) The Air Force released a report on the so-called “Roswell Incident,” suggesting the alien bodies that witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies. Actor Brian Keith was found dead in his Malibu, Calif., home; he was 75.

Five years ago: President Bush urged the Palestinians to replace Yasser Arafat with leaders “not compromised by terror” and adopt democratic reforms that could produce an independent state within three years. The Supreme Court ruled that juries, not judges, must decide whether a convicted killer lives or dies. A train crash in central Tanzania killed at least 288 people.

One year ago: Patsy Ramsey, who was thrust into the national spotlight by the unsolved slaying of her daughter JonBenet, died in Roswell, Ga., at age 49.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Al Molinaro is 88. Comedian Jack Carter is 84. Movie director Claude Chabrol is 77. Actress Michele Lee is

65. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 65. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 64. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 63. Singer Arthur Brown is

63. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 62. Actor Peter Weller is 60. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 58. Actress Nancy Allen is 57. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 57. Actor Joe Penny is 51. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is

50. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 48. Rock singer Curt Smith is 46. Actress Danielle Spencer is 42. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 40. Singer Glenn Medeiros is

37. Actress Minka Kelly (TV: “Friday Night Lights”) is 27. Singer Solange Knowles is 21.

Thought for Today: “If a man makes a better mousetrap than his neighbor, his neighbor will borrow it.” — Anonymous.